Most Detroiters vaccinated in second half of 2021 were previously unsure about COVID-19 vaccines

April 6, 2022

Lauren Slagter, 734-929-8027, [email protected]
Morgan Sherburne, [email protected]

DETROIT—Nearly a third of a random sample of Detroit adults who had not received any COVID-19 vaccinations in June 2021 obtained their first dose in the second half of last year, according to a new University of Michigan survey.

Most of these adults who waited to vaccinate (80%) had previously reported they were unsure about getting vaccinated or unlikely to vaccinate, indicating that outreach efforts have achieved some success in Detroit.

The most recent findings from the Detroit Metro Area Communities Study explore the uptake of COVID-19 vaccines over time among 1,630 Detroit residents who shared their vaccination status in both the June and December 2021 DMACS surveys, including those who have changed their mind about vaccination over time and those who remain unvaccinated.

A majority of respondents (64%) were “early adopters” of the vaccine and received their first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine by June 2021. Despite waning vaccination rates in the latter half of last year, more than 10% of Detroit respondents (“wait-and-seers”) obtained their first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine between June and December 2021. About a quarter of respondents in Detroit were “holdouts” and were still unvaccinated at the end of last year.

“While many of the more persuadable respondents may have already been vaccinated, it is important to note that quite a few respondents who initially indicated they were very unlikely to vaccinate did eventually obtain a COVID-19 vaccination,” said Lydia Wileden, a doctoral candidate at U-M and research associate at DMACS. “This suggests there is room for persuasion even among those with little inclination to vaccinate.”

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