Prescriber hesitancy on COVID-19 vaccine eases with 78% reporting a willingness to prescribe, as trust in government safety process grows
WATERTOWN, MA February 24, 2021—As US healthcare experts debate the merits of administering two COVID-19 vaccine doses first to fewer recipients, or one dose first to many, new data show that 70% of US infectious disease (ID) physicians agree with the vaccine dosing guidelines that states should vaccinate fewer people with both doses of the approved, two-dose vaccines. The remaining 30% of doctors would prefer vaccinating as many people as possible with one dose as a priority.
In a marked change, 78% percent of ID doctors now say they now trust the prescribing of COVID-19 vaccines, a significant uptick from 47% in October 2020 – while roughly double the percent of respondents now say they trust federal vaccine safety policy (50% up from 26% in October).
Data are in the Wave 3: Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) Vaccine Development report from InCrowd, the pioneer for real-time, high-quality primary market intelligence for the life science industry. The report is the latest in a multi-part COVID-19 tracking series. The full Wave 3 report is available here.
Along with increasing trust in Federal vaccine safety policy, 44% of ID doctors report confidence in state and local vaccine safety policy, up from 36% in October. However, overall confidence in local and state policies about the vaccine roll-out and distribution has declined by 34% and 54% respectively, from October 2020.
“It is encouraging to see the data presenting evidence that infectious disease physicians are beginning to see light at the end the tunnel for the pandemic,” said Daniel S. Fitzgerald, CEO of Apollo Intelligence, parent firm to InCrowd. “However, physicians in our third COVID-19 vaccine development report tempered their improved outlook with the realism that present state and local government vaccine logistics are flawed. We’ll continue to track the sentiments of key opinion leaders on the vaccine rollout and will share our next wave of this research at the 2021 Intellus Worldwide Summit on April 8th.”
ID physicians also delayed their estimates of a return to normal for pre-pandemic healthcare practices until March 2022—five months later than their estimate in October 2020. Additionally, they raised the threshold for herd immunity to 75%, up from 71% in October, while acknowledging that many of today’s pandemic-driven healthcare process changes are here to stay.
Over two thirds of the physicians in the report already had received the full vaccination course, and another quarter had received their first dose, at the time of response on January 21-22, 2021. Yet only 7% of respondents said their facilities’ COVID-19 mitigation procedures had changed since staff vaccinations were underway—and those cited changes were small, such as making routine COVID-19 testing a requirement only for non-vaccinated staff.
Verbatim remarks on the two-dose versus one-dose strategy showed competing considerations of efficacy vs. herd immunity.
“I would personally rather know that a high-risk group has been fully vaccinated with an estimated 95% efficacy rate than have everyone be partially vaccinated with a much lower efficacy rate.” —ID Physician, MN
“The protection afforded by the first dose is adequately protective (in conjunction with PPE), and ‘more doses in more arms’ will hasten establishing herd protection.” —ID Physician, TX
Other findings in the report include:
- The next approved vaccine in the US will be Johnson and Johnson’s candidate, cited by 72%, followed by the AstraZeneca/University of Oxford candidate, at 62%, and Novavax at 21%.
- It will take until October 2021 for vaccine availability without a priority ranking.
- Most ID doctors—67%—plan to continue mask-wearing and social distancing until herd immunity is reached.
- Seventy-six percent of respondents anticipate that telehealth will remain once the vaccine is widely available—significantly more than in October 2020, along with a significant rise in respondents who anticipate that visitors will be allowed (59%), that widespread easing of restrictions and reopenings will occur (49%), and less stringent PPE rules will be enforced (32%).
- When asked what COVID-19 mitigations doctors, themselves, want to see retained, more than nine in 10 cited hand hygiene practices (92%), telehealth (75%) and widespread investment in public health (71%).
Data in the Wave 3: Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) Vaccine Development report were sourced January 21-22, 2021 from InCrowd’s proprietary panel of HCPs. The n=100 respondents included US infectious disease physicians practicing at community hospitals (n=42), academic hospitals (n=26) and office-based practices (n=13)—each of whom completed a 10-minute MicroSurvey. For more information download the full Wave 3 report here.