Living in Boston During COVID-19: Vaccination Planning and Hesitancy


Boston Area Research Initiative, Center for Survey Research, Boston Public Health Commission




In the summer of 2020, the Boston Area Research Initiative (BARI) at Northeastern

University, the Center for Survey Research (CSR) at University of Massachusetts Boston,

and the Boston Public Health Commission (BPHC) conducted a survey among 1626

Bostonians about their experiences of during the first months of the COVID-19 pandemic,

including: their ability and tendency to follow social distancing recommendations; attitudes

toward regulations; and the economic and personal impacts of the pandemic. In the fall, we

followed up with an additional web-based and mailed survey that asked about continued

employment, plans for getting the vaccine, mental health, and respondents’ perceptions

about life in their neighborhood.

This fifth report in a series describes Boston respondents’ intentions to get the COVID-19

vaccine, when available. In a mail and web-based survey conducted in the September 2020,

we asked if respondents plan to get vaccinated—definitely, probably, probably not, or

definitely not. In this report, we explore personal characteristics associated with

Bostonians’ hesitancy to get the vaccine (probably not/definitely not). We also provide

information about which respondents are definitely planning to get the COVID-19 vaccine.

This information may help identify people who are reluctant to get the vaccine and assist

efforts to tailor messages to Boston residents who have reservations about the coronavirus