39 minutes | Apr 21, 2021

Mollyann Brodie, KFF: “Accept People Where They Are.”

We sat down this week with the acclaimed survey expert, Mollyann Brodie who been exceptionally busy in recent months, engaging over 11,000 American adults. She finds it remarkable “how fast and dynamic vaccine confidence has moved” across all population groups, reaching acceptance among two-thirds of Americans. The “moveable middle,” of persons waiting to decide, has been cut by half to 17%. Black and Hispanic populations have moved towards higher acceptance but still account for a large share of those postponing a decision. As for “persistently reluctant” individuals, the 3 in 10 evangelicals and Republicans, particularly younger, male and rural citizens? “Nothing we have thrown at them… has caused them to tell us they are willing to move.” What to do? “At the margins, carrots seem to work for a sliver” of this population: i.e. if vaccines improve the ability to visit family, travel overseas, receive a bonus from an employer. “They have their own set of concerns” over personal liberty, disruption of economic life, distrust of government. Politics needs to be removed from discussions. The focus needs to shift to meeting these individuals where they are. “Hyperlocal efforts,” conversations among themselves, with their own physicians, with their own family members, hold promise.  What gives her hope? “ I have never seen a movement of this kind in my lifetime.. of so many individuals and organizations on the ground trying to help us get to herd immunity.”  

Mollyann Brodie is Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer at the Kaiser Family Foundation, as well as Executive Director of the Public Opinion and Survey Research Program.

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