Using choice microdata (N=2723) across the USA, this paper analyzes elicited acceptance of hypothetical COVID-19 vaccines.
The hypothetical vaccines in a choice experiment were described in terms of effectiveness, days for antibodies to develop, duration of protection, risk of both mild and severe side effects, which health agency mainly supports the vaccine, country of origin, and when the vaccine was developed. Out-of-pocket cost was also considered as characteristic of the vaccines to derive welfare measures.
All vaccine attributes had expected signs with significant estimates. Vaccines developed in the USA and the UK were preferred to a hypothetical German vaccine, whereas a Chinese origin was very negatively perceived. Since the choice scenarios also gave the option to opt out from taking the vaccine, odds ratios were derived to characterize the segments that are more and less likely to accept vaccination. More likely to opt out were found to be those who stated to be against vaccination in general, African Americans, individuals without health insurance, and older people. Males, democrats, those who took the flu vaccine appear as more willing to accept vaccination.
Estimates of the fitted choice models in this study are informative for current and future immunization programs.