Those Most Hesitant About Vaccination are More Likely to Turn to Social Media for Information
Additional Data Available Through Online Vaccine Monitor Dashboard
As vaccination efforts ramp up across the country, the KFF COVID-19 Vaccine Monitor examines where the public is getting its relevant information.
Large shares of the public report that they are getting at least a fair amount of vaccine information from television news, including cable (43%), network (41%) and local (40%) television, and from friends and family (40%). Somewhat fewer get at least a fair amount of information from social media (31%), a doctor, nurse, or other health care provider (31%) and other sources.
There are differences in people’s sources of vaccine information based on how enthusiastic they are about getting a vaccine.
Among those who say they “definitely will not” get a vaccine (13% of the public), the most-cited media source for at least a fair amount of vaccine information is social media (40%), followed by cable (37%), network (32%) and local (28%) television. Most likely, the vaccine hesitant are self-selecting social media information sources they are comfortable with.
Those who want to “wait and see” how the vaccine is working for others before getting it (31% of the public) are about equally likely to say they are getting at least a fair amount of relevant information from social media (37%) as cable (37%), network (36%) and local (41%) television.
In contrast, those who want to get the vaccine as soon as they can (41% of the public) are about twice as likely to say they have gotten at least a fair amount of information about the vaccine from cable news (51%) as from social media (25%) This may in part reflect generational differences in media consumption, as older Americans on average are more enthusiastic about getting vaccinated and less likely to turn to social media for vaccine information.
Available through the Monitor’s new online dashboard, the analysis also examines sources of vaccine information by age, race and ethnicity, and urban, suburban and rural communities; by cable networks including Fox, MSNBC and CNN; and by social media platforms including Facebook and Twitter. It may be that people self-select news sources that they feel reinforce their views rather than the sources leading to those views.
The KFF COVID-19 Vaccine Monitor is an ongoing research project tracking the public’s attitudes and experiences with COVID-19 vaccinations. Using a combination of surveys and qualitative research, this project tracks the dynamic nature of public opinion as vaccine development and distribution unfold, including vaccine confidence and hesitancy, trusted messengers and messages, as well as the public’s experiences with vaccination.