In every major media announcement about COVID-19, developing a vaccine is lauded as the key to return daily life back to normal. Researchers around the world are working around the clock to develop a vaccine in record time. 

One week ago, Moderna became the first US-based pharmaceutical company to have a successful Phase 1 vaccine trial. After a limited test with 45 participants, this experimental vaccine was shown to generate an immune response, and a final study with 30,000 participants will start at the end of the month. These early results are promising and if the next stages of the vaccine trials continue to show an effective immune response with no adverse effects, experts predict that this vaccine could be mass-produced in early 2021. 

On Tuesday, the New York Times released The Vaccine Trust Problem as part of their Daily podcast series. Jan Hoffman, the Times health reporter, reports that “I heard more and more from people who were beginning to say, you know, I get all my vaccines, I’m up-to-date — I will not take this one. These are pro-science, pro-vaccine people who are cringing and wanting to avoid this vaccine. And I thought, we have a problem.”

In this podcast, the Times is suggesting that a significant portion of the US population may not go get a vaccine, even if it’s widely available. Assuming a successful vaccine is developed, the question then becomes: How can we expect to go back to our expected normal way of life if adoption is not widespread? 

Wondering this ourselves, TapResearch ran a quick poll of adults across the US on July 21, 2020, to see how they felt about the progress of the COVID-19 vaccine trials. We surveyed 1,040 people ages 18-64 who live in the United States. The full results of this poll can be found here.

Our results were similar to the findings of the research referenced by the Times. The data suggests that a significant segment of the population would not plan to get a COVID-19 vaccine if one became available. Of the 1,040 respondents,  528 responded “Yes”, 266 responded “No”, and 246 responded “maybe” when asked if they planned to receive the vaccine. These results did not have any correlation to respondent age but were moderately correlated with education level. The data suggests that those with bachelor’s degrees or other advanced degrees would be more likely than other groups to plan to get a COVID-19 vaccine if it becomes available. 

Another interesting finding was that younger respondents would rather get Covid-19 instead of getting the vaccine and avoiding contracting the virus itself. 49% of respondents ages 25-34 would choose to get the virus compared to only 27% of those aged 55-64.

While early vaccine trials from around the world show promising results, our research supports claims by reporters that a significant portion of the US population may not plan to get vaccinated against COVID-19. Without widespread vaccination, it’s hard to pin our hopes of a “normal” life on the mass production of a successful vaccine alone.

About the Poll

TapResearch conducted this survey across its network of random mobile devices. The poll was conducted on July 22, 2020, with 1,040 respondents. 

If you’re a mobile marketer or decision-maker and would like to run a similar poll across the TapResearch mobile sample network please contact Michael Sprague at

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