A majority (70%) of adults aged 65 or more years are optimistic about the rollout of COVID-19 vaccinations, but they also don’t believe they have enough information about when (58%) and where (59%) they will be able to get vaccinated, according to the latest KFF COVID-19 Vaccine Monitor Poll.
Although the majority of this priority population reported being optimistic, the poll, conducted Jan. 11 to 18, also found that 53% of older adults were frustrated, 33% were confused, 23% were angry and 41% were satisfied about the rollout of the COVID-19 vaccine.
Assisted living communities and skilled nursing facilities have been able to participate voluntarily in the federal Pharmacy Partnership for Long-Term Care program, but older adults who are outside of that program or who are living in other congregate settings or at home have not been prioritized for vaccination, and many have had to find out on their own how to get vaccinated.
The older adults surveyed said that their state government is doing a fair job (35%) or a good job (25%) of distributing COVID-19 vaccines in their states. The majority (48%) also said they think that vaccine distribution will improve under the Biden administration, whereas 34% said that it will stay the same.
The poll also found that most surveyed essential workers, another high-priority group, believe that they have enough information about where to get a vaccine (55%) but do not have enough information about when they will be able to get vaccinated (55%). This group included some healthcare workers who have yet to be vaccinated, who said they don’t have enough information about when they will be able to get vaccinated (21%).
Among the broader public, most (66%) also said they feel “optimistic” that the vaccination process will get better. But those who have not yet been vaccinated say they do not have enough information about when people in their priority groups will be able to get a vaccine (60%) or where they can get a vaccine (55%).
At the same time, half (50%) of the general public said they are “frustrated,” a third (33%) said they feel “confused,” and almost a fourth (23%) said they are “angry.”
Black and Hispanic adults, as well as low-income households, are among the groups least likely to say they have enough information. Within each group, at least two-thirds say that they do not have enough information about when they can get vaccinated, and at least 6 in 10 say they don’t have enough information about where to get vaccinated.
The findings highlight a challenge facing public health officials working to get vaccines into the arms of priority populations, according to the report.
“The Biden administration has been left with a huge challenge on vaccine administration. Most Americans don’t know when or where they can get a vaccine, including older Americans, who are already eligible to get a vaccine in a growing number of states,” KFF President and CEO Drew Altman said. “Understandably large numbers of people are frustrated, angry and confused.”