National Poll Explores COVID-19 Vaccination Acceptance for Older Adults

Once enough people receive effective vaccines against the novel coronavirus, experts say, the end of the pandemic may be in sight. But a new poll of older adults – one of the highest-priority groups for vaccination – suggests an uphill climb lies ahead to reach that goal.

In all, 58% of adults aged 50 to 80 say they are somewhat or very likely to get vaccinated to prevent COVID-19, according to new results from the National Poll on Healthy Aging from the University of Michigan. 

That number went up to 66% when the poll team asked the question a different way: 20% said they’d want to get vaccinated right away when vaccines become available, but 46% said they’d rather wait for others to get vaccinated first before doing it themselves.

Women, people of color, people between 50 and 64 years old, and those with lower incomes and education levels were less likely to say they’d seek vaccination in general. Only 40% of older adults who are Black, and 51% of those who are Hispanic, said they are somewhat or very likely to get vaccinated, despite the greater risk of hospitalization and death for members of these groups if they develop COVID-19.

For more information on the results of this poll, see the announcement from the National Poll on Healthy Aging here.