COVID-19 Vaccine Confidence in Geographic Areas of Need

August 25, 2021

On December 14, 2020, the first COVID-19 vaccine was administered under U.S. FDA Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) in the United States. Since then, 47% of the eligible U.S. population has been fully vaccinated against COVID-19 and 55.2% have received at least one dose of a vaccine. Unfortunately, vaccine confidence and other roadblocks have continued to slow down vaccination efforts in the U.S. and endeavors to reaccelerate administration of doses have faced several challenges. Recently, the African American Research Collaborative (AARC) conducted a nationwide poll of the largest-yet sample of African American, Latinos, Asian Americans, Pacific Islanders, and Native Americans on how these communities are viewing the COVID-19 vaccines. The survey findings reveal that discrimination, location, and messaging continue to be factors that influence whether someone will choose to receive the COVID-19 vaccine. This briefing discussed the results of this survey, their importance, and explored potential strategies to increase vaccination rates, particularly ones tailored to different populations.


  • Rhea Boyd, M.D., MPH, Pediatrician and Child Health Advocate, Palo Alto Medical Foundation
  • Henry Fernandez, J.D., Chief Executive Officer, African American Research Collaborative
  • Erin Hemlin, M.A., Director of Health Policy and Advocacy, Young Invincibles
  • Lauren Rauh, MPH, Senior Program Manager, Convince USA
  • Rachel Nuzum, MPH, Vice President, Federal and State Health Policy, Commonwealth Fund (moderator)

Presentation: COVID-19 Vaccine Confidence in Geographic Areas of Need

Event Resources

Key Resources

(listed chronologically, beginning with the most recent)

“American COVID-19 Vaccine Poll.” African American Research Collaborative. Available at

“The Room Where It Happens: The Role of Primary Care in the Next Phase of the COVID-19 Vaccination Campaign.” Klein, S., Hostetter, M. The Commonwealth Fund. July 7, 2021. Available at

“KFF COVID-19 Vaccine Monitor: June 2021.” Hamel, L., Lopes, L., Kearney, A., et al. Kaiser Family Foundation. June 30, 2021. Available at

“Latest Data on COVID-19 Vaccinations by Race/Ethnicity.” Ndugga, N., Pham, O., Hill, L., et al. Kaiser Family Foundation. June 30, 2021. Available at

“What Do Americans Think About Getting Vaccinated Against COVID-19?” Shah, A., Schneider, C., Zephyrin, L., et al. The Commonwealth Fund. June 16, 2021. Available at

“‘It’s a Minefield’: COVID Vaccine Safety Poses Unique Communication Challenge.” Remmel, A. Nature. May 21, 2021. Available at

Additional Resources

(listed chronologically, beginning with the most recent)

“Vaccinate with Confidence: Strategy to Reinforce Confidence in COVID-19 Vaccines.” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. August 19, 2021. Available here.

“Nationwide Survey Of Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians, And Pacific Islanders on COVID-19 Shows Disparities on Vaccinations and Struggles with Discrimination and Mental Health.” Asian & Pacific Islander American Health Forum. July 21, 2021. Available at

“On One Native American Reservation, Vaccine Hesitancy Has Long Historical Roots.” Stacke, S. The Nation. July 21, 2021. Available at

“Young Americans Aren’t Getting Vaccinated, Jeopardizing Covid-19 Fight.” Cooper, L., Siddiqui, S. The Wall Street Journal. July 11, 2021. Available at

“To Fight the Delta Variant, Better Understanding of Unvaccinated Americans is Critical.” Blumenthal, D., Fernandez, H. The Hill. July 2, 2021. Available at

“Peer Pressure, Not Politics, May Matter Most When It Comes to Getting the COVID-19 Vaccine.” Cox, D. American Enterprise Institute. June 29, 2021. Available at

“Missing the Point — How Primary Care Can Overcome Covid-19 Vaccine ‘Hesitancy’” Ratzan, S., Schneider, E., Hatch, H., et al. The New England Journal of Medicine. June 24, 2021. Available at

“Government Won’t Get Us Herd Immunity. Businesses Can.” Gotbaum, J. The Brookings Institution. May 3, 2021. Available at

“The Johnson and Johnson Vaccine Pause and the Challenge of Risk assessment.” Feuer, M. Brookings Institution. April 28, 2021. Available at

“‘It Didn’t Really Stick with Me’: Understanding the Rural Shrug Over Covid and Vaccines.” Tribble, S. Kaiser Health News. April 1, 2021. Available at

“Addressing Justified Vaccine Hesitancy in the Black Community.” Laurencin, C. Journal of Racial and Ethnic Health Disparities. March 30, 2021. Available at

“How Public Health Officials Can Convince Those Reluctant to Get the COVID-19 Vaccine.” Badger, D., Haislmaier, E. The Heritage Foundation. March 26th, 2021. Available at

“Vaccine Hesitancy in Rural Pediatric Primary Care.” Mical, R., Martin-Velez, J. Blackstone, T., Derouin, A. Journal of Pediatric Health Care. February 2021. Available at

“Vaccine Hesitancy Among Hispanic Adults.” Kearney A., Lopes, L., Brodie, M. Kaiser Family Foundation. January 14, 2021. Available at

“Countering Vaccine Hesitancy.” Edwards, K., Hackell, J., Committee on Infectious Diseases, Committee on Practice and Ambulatory Medicine. Pediatrics. August 2016. Available at

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Rhea Boyd, M.D., MPH
California Children’s Trust, Director of Equity and Justice

Henry Fernandez, J.D.
African American Research Collaborative, CEO

Erin Hemlin, M.A.
Young Invincibles, Health Policy & Advocacy Director

Lauren Rauh, MPH
Convince USA, Senior Program Manager

Experts and Analysts

Matt A. Barreto, Ph.D.
BSP Research, President and Co-Founder

Gary G. Bennett, Ph.D.
Duke University, Vice Provost for Undergraduate Education, Professor of Psychology & Nuerosceience, Global Health & Medicine

Brent Orrell
American Enterprise Institute, Senior Fellow

Laurie Zephyrin, M.D., MPH, MBA
Commonwealth Fund, Vice President, Health System Equity


Kizzmekia S. Corbett, Ph.D., MPH
National Institute of Health, Coronavirus Vaccine Program, Research Fellow

Jessica Schindelar, MPH
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Associate Director for Communications, Division of Healthcare Quality Promotion

Abbigail Tumpey, MPH, CHES
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Associate Director for Communication, Center for Surveillance, Epidemiology, and Laboratory Services


Todd Askew
American Medical Association, Senior Vice President, Advocacy

Matt Eyles, M.S.
America’s Health Insurance Plans, President and CEO

Claire Hannan
Association of Immunization Managers, Executive Director

Janet Hernandez
Made to Save, Deputy Director

Mark Howell, J.D.
American Hospital Association, Senior Associate Director, Standards and Drug Policy

Heidi Larson, Ph.D
Vaccine Confidence Project, Founding Director

Christi Mackie, MPH
Association of State and Territorial Health Officials, Vice President of Community Health and Prevention

Pamela Roberto, Ph.D., MPH
PhRMA, Deputy Vice President of Policy and Research

Kimberly Sharpe-Scott, MPH
National Association of County and City Health Officials, Senior Program Analyst, Immunization

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This is an unedited transcript.