Click image to download a 7-page summary of the focus group discussion

March 2021

On March 13, the de Beaumont Foundation held an online focus group to understand why many Republicans say they are reluctant to take a COVID-19 vaccine and identify messaging that can help build confidence and uptake in vaccination. Led by pollster Frank Luntz, the session supplemented polling that Luntz and de Beaumont have done to identify effective language about the COVID-19 pandemic and vaccines for all audiences. While this was just a single session with 19 participants, it provided unprecedented insights into the concerns of some Republicans and revealed messaging and language that can serve as an effective roadmap for building acceptance and uptake of COVID vaccines. These insights were used to inform a national poll with Republican voters and to help shape national and local efforts to build confidence in the safety and effectiveness of the COVID vaccines and encourage more Americans to get vaccinated.

The 19 people recruited for this focus group identify as Republican, voted for President Trump in the 2020 presidential election, identify as “conservative” in their political ideology, and responded “maybe” or “probably not” when asked if they will get a COVID vaccine. They are not “anti-vaxxers” – they have taken other common vaccines in the past, including but not limited to vaccines for measles, polio, or hepatitis.

View a 30-minute highlight reel, or see short clips below.

What word or phrase would you use to describe COVID-19?

What word or phrase would you use to describe the COVID-19 vaccine?

Would you be motivated to get vaccinated if it was required in order to travel? 

The politicization of COVID-19

Five facts from Dr. Tom Frieden, former CDC director

Has your opinion about the vaccine changed during this session?

Download a 7-page summary of the focus group discussion.