A recent survey by data collection company Premise in the U.S. and the U.K. found that Americans were nearly twice as likely to not have received a single dose of the COVID-19 vaccine (45%) than their U.K. counterparts (23%).
Attitudes toward getting vaccinated in the future varied significantly by country.
The data was collected using a novel approach of smartphone users paid like “gig” workers and resulted in substantial responses in the thousands to date with more coming.
Premise’s data shows that most Americans and Brits have received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine. However, based on Premise’s current findings, public health officials are likely going to face more challenges convincing the unvaccinated in the U.S. to change their minds compared to those unvaccinated in the U.K.
Here is additional data found by Premise to date from its smartphone workers (called “contributors”). The data shows the level of resistance to vaccination and possible openings to persuade the unvaccinated to become vaccinated.
The survey found that one-third of unvaccinated adults in the U.S. are against ever getting vaccinated.
In contrast, only 23% of U.K.’s unvaccinated population said they will never get the vaccine, and over two-thirds – 69% – of all unvaccinated adults in the U.K. say they’re open to the idea, provided there’s more evidence of its efficacy and testing/safety.
“The U.S. government has a serious journey ahead in convincing its citizens on the importance of getting vaccinated,” said Maury Blackman, CEO of Premise. “Through crowdsourced data, we learned about the stark differences in vaccine hesitancy in the U.S. versus the U.K. It is our civic duty not only to make vaccines widely accessible but also to educate Americans on the importance of the vaccine to build more trust.”
Specific reasons for refusing to ever get vaccinated also varied sharply by country. For respondents in the U.S., the far most common reason was a distrust of the government.
While in the U.K., unvaccinated respondents were split evenly between not trusting the government, not thinking COVID is a real danger, and other reasons.
But while Americans were more likely to be unvaccinated and against getting the COVID-19 vaccine, they’re also less likely to think COVID is not a real danger and are more concerned about COVID-19 variants than adults we surveyed in the U.K.
For instance, 36% of Americans who responded to our survey reported being “Very concerned” about COVID variants, compared to just 18% in the U.K.
This all suggests that public health officials in the U.K. have a more straightforward scientific job of convincing their unvaccinated of the dangers posed by COVID, the safety of the vaccine, and the effectiveness of the vaccine. Public health officials in the U.S., on the other hand, should be taking deeper dives into local communities to better understand vaccine hesitancy, build trust in areas with higher rates, and provide clear and compelling evidence of the overall importance of the COVID-19 vaccines.
Premise can help public health organizations and humanitarian organizations collect data around vaccine hesitancy and show how attitudes and behaviors change over time as the pandemic continues to evolve. This, in turn, can help make community outreach efforts more effective.
Premise’s survey was conducted from August 5, 2021 to August 17, 2021 and polled approximately 5,000 participants in the United States and 1,000 participants in the United Kingdom. The participants in the survey were part of Premise’s international network of paid “contributors” or “gig workers.” Premise’s survey was conducted through its participants’ smartphones at a speed and scale not traditionally seen in polling.
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