The United States is now in what is considered to be the second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic. And while the number of cases and deaths continues to climb, news of vaccine developments from Pfizer, Moderna and AstraZeneca has offered hope to consumers that a vaccine may hit the U.S. market as soon as this month.
But what are consumers’ perceptions about the forthcoming COVID-19 vaccines?
As PYMNTS has been closely tracking the pandemic’s impact on consumers’ lives and shopping habits since March 6, our most recent research sets out to gauge consumers’ perceptions toward a potential vaccine and how it may impact their lives. Our research shows that consumers’ perceptions around vaccines are largely split along generational lines and those that have embraced a digital-first lifestyle.
The latest study of 2,806 U.S. consumers in our Pandenomics series, To Vaccinate or Not To Vaccinate: Measuring The Impact Of A COVID-19 Vaccine On Consumers’ Digital Lifestyles, was conducted on Nov. 11, three days after the first Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine announcement. We asked consumers if they had heard the news of the vaccine, if they thought it would be effective and whether news of a COVID-19 vaccine had changed their attitudes toward shopping and reengaging in the physical world.
Our survey findings indicate that most consumers (81.7 percent) were well-informed about the vaccine news, which is a significant share considering the announcement had just come out three days prior.
Among consumers that are familiar with news of the vaccine, just as many say they definitely or likely would not get the vaccine (38.4 percent) as those who say they definitely or very likely will (37.9 percent). The remainder say they are somewhat likely to get vaccinated. While the fact that nearly 40 percent of consumers have no desire to get vaccinated may come as a surprise, our research shows that consumers’ interest in getting vaccinated is split along generational lines.
Younger generations are less interested in getting a vaccine, as nearly a quarter of Generation X consumers and nearly 23 percent of bridge millennials are not interested in getting the vaccine. Meanwhile, the majority of consumers who are interested in getting vaccinated is high among older generations, with 46.5 percent of baby boomers and seniors very or extremely likely to get vaccinated. Nearly a third of millennials and bridge millennials express the same level of interest in getting vaccinated, in comparison.
In addition to a generational gap, consumers who are likely to get vaccinated are also the ones who are more likely to have shifted to digital-first lifestyles. Consumers who are likely to get vaccinated are more commonly engaging in digital shopping experiences: 54.8 percent of those who are shopping for groceries online for curbside pickup say they will likely get the vaccine. Similarly, 50.9 percent of consumers that have been ordering food online from quick-service restaurants more frequently say they are likely to get a vaccine.
These are only some of the findings from our research. To learn more about consumers’ perceptions and plans for the COVID-19 vaccine, download the report.