Frames That Matter: Increasing The Willingness To Get The Covid-19 Vaccines

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Social Science And Medicine


Herd immunity against Covid-19 demands a high rate of vaccination, which may be challenging to meet given vaccine hesitancy in the U.S. How can Americans' willingness to get vaccinated be increased? Using a survey experiment, we apply seven framing treatments to a representative sample of 1642 U.S. residents that test ways to increase willingness: expert and political figure endorsements, demonstrations of receiving the vaccine, information about the vaccine's approval process, and information underscoring the pandemic's devastating economic impact. We find the approval process and the economy treatments increase the odds of higher vaccination willingness by 42% (p = 0.068) and 46% (p = 0.060), respectively. Additionally, we find suggestive evidence that the effectiveness of a message depends on whether a respondent finds the message/messenger credible. The study advances the understanding of vaccine hesitancy by demonstrating effective public health messaging strategy can facilitate greater acceptance of vaccination.


Covid-19, Vaccination, Vaccine hesitancy, Survey research, Survey experiment, Framing