Henry Schein Cares Foundation Releases Study on Vaccination Hesitation

This survey set out to understand why a patient may be hesitant to receive the COVID-19 vaccine, and why trust between a patient and doctor is a key factor.

As COVID-19 vaccines become more readily available for Americans, there has also been hesitancy in receiving the vaccine. To unpack and understand this hesitancy, Henry Schein Cares Foundation surveyed 2,005 respondents on whether or not the advice of a Primary Care Physician would influence a patient in getting the vaccine.

The survey demonstrated that incentives are not as effective as a primary care physician’s counsel. 88% who went to their clinician before getting the vaccine said that their doctor’s advice was an integral part in their decision to get vaccinated. 88% also said that they trust their doctor’s advice completely or a majority of the time.

While the survey showed that it often takes patients almost 3 years to establish a good trusting relationship with their doctor, it also clearly demonstrated that patients would trust their doctor to give them good advice in regards to vaccination for both them and their children. Only 31% of respondents said an incentive would make them get the vaccine, while 36% said that their minds would change at a doctor’s advice. The most popular incentive was cash, but only above $50.

Louis W. Sullivan, MD, is co-Chair of the Henry Schein Cares Board of Directors and a former head of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. In the study, he says that the most important thing is for patients to get information from a trusted source.

"Incentives might work in certain instances, but it's clear that Americans are more likely to take the advice of their doctor than be swayed by free offers or monetary rewards," Dr Sullivan says in the survey results. "That's why we encourage all patients to ensure they have a physician or dentist they can trust, and who they can go to for medical advice. It's the quickest and easiest way to avoid misinformation, and to stay informed about major health matters."

Popular avenues of vaccine information included the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), state health agencies, family, social media, and friends. The survey was commissioned by Henry Schein Cares and was conducted by OnePoll.