San Francisco—Understanding trends in the uptake of COVID-19 is especially important for pharmacies offering immunization, many of which have gone from being slammed with desperate shot seekers to empty chairs in their waiting areas.

The most recent Kaiser Family Foundation COVID-19 Vaccine Monitor report offers some important information that pharmacists should find useful.

The June report notes that nearly two-thirds of adults (65%) have received at least one COVID-19 vaccine dose, and few others (3%) say they intend to get the vaccine as soon as they can.

In fact, KFF reports that, even though vaccine intentions differ by party, race, ethnicity, age, and other demographics, at least half, across most of those groups, responded to the survey that they are now vaccinated. The great exception is people without health insurance; only 48% of those say they have received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine.

The KFF COVID-19 Vaccine Monitor is a research project that uses surveys and qualitative research to track the public’s attitudes and experiences with COVID-19 vaccinations.

The latest information suggests that households are an important measure of vaccine uptake. Researchers note that most adults live in homogenous households related to COVID-19 vaccination status “with three-quarters (77%) of vaccinated adults saying 'everyone in their household' is vaccinated and a similar share (75%) of unvaccinated adults saying 'no one they live with' is vaccinated.”

About half of adults report living in vaccinated households, and one in four live in fully unvaccinated households, according to the report, which adds that about one in five adults live in households with both vaccinated and unvaccinated household members. That includes some households with children under the age of 12 years who are not currently eligible to receive a vaccine.

“Notably, two-thirds of Democrats report living in all-vaccinated households while four in ten Republicans (39%) report living in all-unvaccinated homes,” the authors write.

One of the biggest barriers to increasing vaccination rates, they point out, is growing optimism—76% of adults expressed that view—that the pandemic is nearing its end. Researchers explain that “this optimism has the potential to hamper further vaccination efforts, with half of unvaccinated adults saying that the number of cases is now so low there is no need for more people to get the vaccine.”

Another issue is that the vaccines are being delivered under emergency use authorization from the FDA. As has been the case in past months, about 30% of unvaccinated adults and about half of those in the “wait and see” group advise that they would be more likely to get vaccinated if one of the vaccines received full FDA approval.

“However, this finding likely suggests that FDA approval is a proxy for general safety concerns, as two-thirds of adults (including a large majority of unvaccinated adults) either believe the vaccines currently available in the U.S. already have full approval from the FDA or are unsure whether they have full approval or are authorized for emergency use,” the researchers emphasize.

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