Adults’ decisionmaking about getting the COVID-19 vaccines is complex. This brief provides qualitative insights from interviews conducted in February 2021 with 40 nonelderly adults who reported in the Urban Institute’s December 2020 Well-Being and Basic Needs Survey (WBNS) that they would probably or definitely not get a COVID-19 vaccine. Our key findings are as follows:
- As of February 2021, most interviewees who indicated in the WBNS that they were not interested in being vaccinated maintained they were still unlikely to get a COVID-19 vaccine if it were available to them.
- Interviewees were primarily concerned about the short- and long-term side effects of the COVID-19 vaccines and their accelerated development.
- Many interviewees said more information and more time to see how the vaccines work on others could help them change their minds.
- Interviewees mainly relied on television news programs and online news media for information about the vaccines. Many were having difficulty trusting that the COVID-19 vaccines are safe, given the political baggage, misinformation, and seemingly contradictory information surrounding them.
- Friends and family, particularly through social media, were another key source of information about the COVID-19 vaccines. Despite not wanting a vaccine, some interviewees wanted their high-risk loved ones to get vaccinated.
- Health care providers emerged as a trusted source of information about the vaccines. Trust in public health experts was mixed.