Sorry Olivia Rodrigo, friends and family are the biggest vaccine influencers

July 19, 2021, 6:33 PM UTC

Celebrities such as Olivia Rodrigo have been recruited to help spread the message about getting vaccinated, but it’s the words and actions of friends, family, and personal doctors that are convincing the vaccine hesitant, according to a report by the Kaiser Family Foundation.

One in five adults, or 21%, said they were now vaccinated after expressing some level of hesitation during the initial survey in January.

Among this group, many cited their friends, family, and personal doctors as the reason why they chose to get vaccinated in the end.

The report analyzed survey responses from a nationally representative sample of adults six months after they were initially questioned about their willingness to get a covid vaccine.

Influential factors included seeing friends and family members get vaccinated without serious side effects (25%), conversations with their personal doctors (11%), pressure from friends and family (8%), and being able to safely visit family members (3%).

Nine percent also said the easing of restrictions for vaccinated people played a role.

Some people’s responses to the question of why they got vaccinated followed along similar lines.

“Not many side effects and others have been vaccinated,” said a 21-year-old white male independent from Georgia who had in January said he would “wait and see” before he got vaccinated.

When asked what helped change the opinion of the vaccine hesitant, many said seeing friends and family was the main reason they opted to get vaccinated.

At the same time, 16% of adults who had previously indicated they would get vaccinated as soon as possible or wanted to “wait and see” were still unvaccinated six months later.

Some cite possible risks or side effects from the vaccine as a deterrent.

“I have allergies considering [sic] the possible risks,” said an 18-year-old male Hispanic Democrat from Florida who had said in January he would get vaccinated as soon as possible. “The risks in my opinion are not a chance I’m willing to take.”

Two-thirds of survey respondents have now been vaccinated including 92% of those who had planned to get vaccinated as soon as possible as of six months ago. The majority of those who said they would “definitely not” get vaccinated or get vaccinated only if required remained unvaccinated.

Deaths from COVID-19 are increasing again in the U.S., as the Delta variant continues to hit areas with large unvaccinated populations. New cases are rising, and the seven-day average of daily deaths increased by 26% to 211 per day, according to CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky.

In the United States, 55.2% of the population has received at least one shot of a COVID vaccine.

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