Patient Thoughts on COVID-19 Vaccine and How to Encourage Patients to Get It
March 2020 seems like ages ago, but a year later, there is hope in sight that the pandemic will end. Much of that hope is tied to the COVID-19 vaccine rollout and encouraging healthcare consumers to get vaccinated to control the spread of coronavirus and its variants. But not every patient feels the same way about the vaccines.
In fact, many have a lot of feelings about it and yet, there’s little data on it. Until now.
Recently, PatientBond conducted a study on healthcare consumers across the country about their thoughts on the COVID-19 vaccine, ranging from who wants it, why some won’t get it, what would convince them to get it and more. The data, which is ingrained within the PatientBond Insights Accelerator™, also incorporates PatientBond’s psychographic segmentation model and each segment’s thoughts on the vaccine. If you’re curious to see what segment you are, take our patient classifier.
In this blog, we’ll look at how the general population and the segments feel about the vaccine and how you can encourage them to get it.
Who Wants the COVID-19 Vaccine?
When healthcare consumers were asked if they would get the COVID-19 vaccination, 64.5% of the general population answered either Definitely Will, Highly Likely or Somewhat Likely. Among the psychographic segments, we found that Self Achievers and Direction Takers were statistically (95% confidence) more likely to give the same responses among all the segments.
On the other end of the spectrum, Balance Seekers were the strong outlier with 42.6% saying either Somewhat Unlikely, Highly Unlikely or Definitely Will NOT get the vaccine. Why is this segment hesitant on getting their Fauci Ouchie?
|Likelihood of Getting COVID-19 Vaccination||General Population||Self Achievers||Balance Seekers||Priority Jugglers||Direction Takers||Willful Endurers|
|Definitely Will/Highly Likely/Somewhat Likely||64.5%||72.8%||50.4%||61.8%||70.1%||64.9%|
|Somewhat Unlikely/Highly Unlikely/Definitely Will NOT||25.7%||16.4%||42.6%||24.7%||15.6%||28.1%|
Self Achievers and Direction Takers put a lot of trust in healthcare professionals while Balance Seekers prefer to do research and pull from multiple sources before deciding how to approach their health. It’s not that they don’t trust their doctors, but they want to make sure their recommendations are the best for them.
What’s Holding Patients Back From Getting it?
Patients have several concerns about the vaccines. The top concern among the general population and of all the segments is safety. For Willful Endurers, they’re statistically more likely than several segments not to get it because of perceived out-of-pocket costs, representing an education opportunity since the vaccines are generally free to consumers. And then there are Priority Jugglers, who are statistically more likely to not get it because they feel the risk of getting COVID-19 is low.
Even within segments, not all patients are the same, but it is interesting to see the certain motivations within each one.
What Convinces a Patient to Get it?
Considering perceived safety issues are the top reason why healthcare consumers don’t want the vaccine, it’s unsurprising that the top reason respondents would consider getting the vaccine is if there is evidence that it’s safe. Direction Takers who aren’t convinced of the safety of the vaccine are statistically more likely to get it than Balance Seekers and Priority Jugglers if there’s evidence it’s effective or if there’s a financial incentive or reward.
Providers have done the best they can to emphasize the safety and effectiveness of the vaccines, but what can you make to bolster those efforts further?
We offer some tips and ideas to encourage patients to get the vaccine while also making the process as easy and efficient as possible.
Other Ways to Encourage Patients to Get the COVID-19 Vaccine
Patients value accurate and reliable sources more than ever. With so much misinformation spread during the pandemic, they’re primarily turning to their healthcare providers for answers.
Technology makes it easier to communicate with patients through email, text, social media and mobile notifications. And depending on the psychographic segment, physical mail can still make an impact. You can communicate the latest information on COVID-19, the vaccines available, how to schedule vaccinations and any updated protocols at your center, practice or hospital.
The most important aspect is to make sure your information is up to date, especially on your website and social media channels.
Easy Appointment Scheduling
Scheduling a COVID-19 vaccination is no easy feat. Some healthcare consumers are going to great lengths to get an appointment, literally traveling across state lines for an appointment.
While this supply issue won’t last forever, it’s necessary to make this stressful process as easy as possible for patients. A central webpage is ideal with up-to-date information on your vaccine availability, state vaccine eligibility requirements, methods for scheduling or canceling an appointment and, if you’re able to, sharing what vaccines you have available. PatientBond offers this service to providers seeking an effective solution. There are many patients out there checking multiple websites for appointments and some are opting for providers with specific vaccines based on their personal preferences.
While everything continually changes, make a note to update how you operate so that as vaccines become available, the process is easier and more transparent.
Word of Mouth
Whether anyone likes the term or not, FOMO (fear of missing out) is prevalent in the world of social media. Already, healthcare consumers are taking pictures of their COVID-19 vaccination cards or Band-Aids after getting their shots, making others even more eager to get vaccinated.
So if patients are going to share their experience in-person or online, why not capitalize on it? At the vaccination site, include your social channels in the information sheets you’re handing out and for after they get their shot, a backdrop for them to take their photo. And while patients are there, provide experiences for them while they wait in line and after they get their shot. You could have sheets where they write why they’re getting the vaccine to hang up on the location walls.
You could also include freebies, like stickers & buttons to say they got vaccinated and information about upcoming events at your practice, hospital or center. Better yet, get a videographer to interview attendees about their experience and you could use that to share on your social channels.
For many people, this is a long-awaited experience after a rough year. Providers owe it to not only their patients but themselves to make it uplifting, too. It’s (hopefully) a once-in-a-lifetime experience patients will never forget.