In April, fewer Kansans than ever had not made a decision about getting a COVID-19 vaccine. The percentage of Kansas adults who were “undecided” decreased by more than half between January (38.2 percent) and the end of April (14.6 percent).
The percentage of Kansans who reported they “would definitely not get a vaccine” has remained consistent, at fewer than one in 10 Kansas adults (7.9 to 8.3 percent) since January 2021.
The leading reasons for Kansas adults who were “undecided” about getting a vaccine included concern about possible side effects (66.0 percent), planning to wait and see if it is safe (60.2 percent) and a belief that other people need it more right now (46.9 percent).
Other than concern about possible side effects (61.6 percent), Kansas adults who would “definitely not get a vaccine” cited a different set of reasons, including not trusting the government (42.3 percent) and not trusting COVID-19 vaccines (31.9 percent).
In April, while more Kansans reported being vaccinated for COVID-19 and fewer Kansans reported being undecided, the percentage of Kansans who said they definitely would not get a vaccine remained steady. This fact sheet analyzes data from the U.S. Census Bureau’s Household Pulse Survey for April 14 to 26 and focuses on understanding the reasons why some Kansas adults “would definitely not get a vaccine” or remained “undecided,” including those who “would probably” or “would probably not” get a vaccine and those who responded by selecting a new “unsure” category on the survey. For the most up-to-date information on the number of Kansans who have received COVID-19 vaccines, please refer to the KDHE website.
Reasons for Uncertainty
Figure 3 shows reasons Kansans reported not getting a COVID-19 vaccine. On April 13, 2021, right before this survey was fielded, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Food and Drug Administration recommended a pause in the use of the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine. While the pause was lifted on April 23, there were concerns that it might have contributed to uncertainty among American adults who had not yet been vaccinated.
There continues to be a steady increase in people who are being vaccinated for COVID-19; however, in April, one in five (22.5 percent) Kansas adults were undecided about or definitely not getting a COVID-19 vaccine.
The April Household Pulse Survey coincided with the Johnson & Johnson vaccine pause, which may explain an increase in people citing concerns about side effects and safety of the vaccines. Nonetheless, the number of Kansas adults who were undecided about getting a vaccine continued to decline. Health care providers and other trusted community leaders will be essential to addressing concerns as COVID-19 vaccination efforts continue.
The Household Pulse Survey is an ongoing federal survey that provides policymakers with near real-time information about the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic in Kansas and across the United States. This valuable resource allows for a deeper, data driven understanding of the impact that the pandemic is having on our communities. This Pulse on Kansas is one in a series focusing on the economic, social and health impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic in Kansas.
About Kansas Health Institute
The Kansas Health Institute supports effective policymaking through nonpartisan research, education and engagement. KHI believes evidence-based information, objective analysis and civil dialogue enable policy leaders to be champions for a healthier Kansas. Established in 1995 with a multiyear grant from the Kansas Health Foundation, KHI is a nonprofit, nonpartisan educational organization based in Topeka.