Sixty three percent of US infectious disease (ID) physicians surveyed are confident in prescribing adenovirus vector (more traditionally developed) vaccines, voicing this sentiment even during the 10-day recommended pause in administering the Johnson & Johnson (J&J) COVID-19 vaccine. The figure is down from 82% in March 2021, yet still represents a majority of respondents. Although ID doctors have delayed their estimated return to normal date by two months, until March 2022, their confidence in prescribing any of the FDA approved for Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) COVID-19 vaccines remains high at 89%. In addition, they report other hopeful indicators of easier vaccine access and significant increases in vaccination rates among some demographics.
Data are from Wave 5 of the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) Vaccine Development research from Apollo Intelligence (Apollo), global insights innovator for the life sciences. The findings are the latest in a multi-part COVID-19 series tracked since January 2020.
“Public health teams and our communities should take heart that ID physicians are maintaining high levels of confidence in prescribing FDA-approved vaccines, even with the recent J&J pause. Confidence is up considerably from the 47% we saw in October 2020,” said Daniel S. Fitzgerald, CEO of Apollo. “More importantly, ID doctors haven’t lost confidence in adenovirus vector vaccines. It’s also encouraging to see our physicians report and observe that it’s easier for their patients to schedule and access vaccines.”
Sourced on Friday, April 16 and Saturday, April 17, 2021—after the J&J COVID-19 vaccine pause recommendation on April 13—the data show ID doctors are evenly split as to whether the approval of a more traditional adenovirus vector vaccine means patients are more likely to get vaccinated. In contrast, in Wave 4 COVID-19 vaccine data from March 2021, 59% noted traditional vaccines would inspire more vaccinations, compared to 41% who reported that an approved, traditional vaccine would have no impact on vaccination receptivity.
Patients are finding it easier to get a vaccine appointment, according to ID doctors in Wave 5—with 22% rating it as easy or very easy for their patients, up from 16% in March. Ease of obtaining an appointment at the ID doctors’ own institutions remains the same, at 33%. Also consistent with March findings is the August 2021 anticipated timing of general availability vaccines for anyone without restriction.
Some patient groups reported high vaccination percentage increases in April’s Wave 5 data. For example, ID doctors estimated that 19% of young patients with no comorbidities have received one or both doses of the vaccine as of April, up significantly from 7% in March.
Where patient hesitancy exists, ID doctors in April conveyed that 45% of hesitant patients are concerned with safety, such as side effects or adverse reactions, while 32% of hesitant patients felt vaccines were rushed to market. Twenty-seven percent of hesitant patients worry about new technologies creating the vaccines, according to physician respondents, while 25% are vaccine hesitant due to lack of trust in government/institutions.
On herd immunity, physicians’ perceptions in April 2021 held steady that herd immunity requires 75% of the eligible US population to be vaccinated, effectively the same level as in March (73%) and January 2021 (75%).
Data for Wave 5 of the COVID-19 Vaccine Development research were sourced April 16-17, 2021 and the Wave 4 report on March 1-3, 2021. Both drew respondents from Apollo’s proprietary panel of healthcare professionals (HCPs). Wave 4’s research (n=101 respondents) and Wave 5’s research (n=100 respondents) included US ID physicians practicing at community hospitals, academic practices, and office-based practices.
About Apollo Intelligence, LLC
Apollo Intelligence’s mission is to accelerate health innovation to improve life. In 2019, Apollo launched with the acquisition of InCrowd, the pioneer of real-time automated insights for the life sciences industry. To complement InCrowd and strengthen its global reach, in 2020 Apollo acquired SurveyHealthcareGlobus, the global market leader of first-party healthcare data collection and custom survey solutions. Apollo provides access to 2M healthcare stakeholders worldwide—including physicians, patients, caregivers, and allied healthcare professionals. Apollo’s 200 employees support top global pharmaceutical brands, market research agencies, and consultancies across 14 different countries in the Americas, Europe, and Asia. For more information about Apollo, please visit our website at www.apollointelligence.net.