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Survey reveals public attitudes toward COVID-19

By Richard Rourk

The Tennessee Department of Health has released results from a third party, statewide quantitative and qualitative survey of more than 1,000 adult Tennesseans exploring sentiments around the COVID-19 vaccine.

The COVID-19 vaccine is voluntary in Tennessee, and this survey explored perspectives associated with choosing to receive the vaccine, such as hesitancy or unwillingness, in an effort to identify areas where Tennesseans may need more information.

“The results are consistent with national trends and show that Tennesseans want more information from trusted sources as they make their decision,” said Tennessee Health Department Commissioner Lisa Piercey. “This market survey was an important step in identifying where we can be helpful in providing information about safety and effectiveness.”

All respondents were 18 or older. All 95 Tennessee counties were represented. A total of 82% of respondents were white, 15% Black/African American and 3% Latino/Hispanic

Key Findings

• 53.7% of all respondents are willing but hesitant to receive a COVID-19 vaccine.

• The main reasons associated with vaccine hesitancy are safety and unknown long-term or short-term effects.

• Physicians and medical staff were considered the most trusted voice for Tennesseans seeking information for vaccines.

The study concluded on April 8, 2021. Following the market survey results, TDH will coordinate additional messaging to inform Tennesseans about the safety, efficacy and availability of COVID-19 vaccines.

Individuals seeking a COVID-19 vaccine appointment can visit or to find a local vaccine provider.

The mission of the Tennessee Department of Health is to protect, promote and improve the health and prosperity of people in Tennessee. TDH has facilities in all 95 counties and provides direct services for more than one in five Tennesseans annually as well as indirect services for everyone in the state, including emergency response to health threats, licensure of health professionals, regulation of health care facilities and inspection of food service establishments. Learn more about TDH services and programs at

Connect with TDH on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn @TNDeptofHealth.