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COVID Vaccine: Most Americans Say They Prefer a Certain Brand


Millions of Americans are getting theirs Covid-19 vaccinations, and in a world of oversharing on social media, that means Instagram and Twitter feeds are flooded with gunfire too. People don’t just share when they do get their vaccine, but also what vaccine they are receiving, often using hashtags like #PfizerGang or #TeamModerna.

Nearly three-quarters of Americans say they prefer a particular brand of vaccine by name, according to a recent survey of 1,000 people conducted by M Booth Health, a health communications consultancy, and Savanta, a market research and advisory firm.

The survey found that the largest proportion – 36% – preferred Pfizer. Moderna came in second with 19%, closely followed by Johnson & Johnson with 17%.

Among those who said Pfizer was their first choice, 21% said social media posts from family and friends helped motivate their choice. The most common reason for their preference was the effectiveness of the vaccine, cited by 45%. Positive study data (35%), allegedly fewer side effects (32%), and reading a positive news story (29%) were also reasons people said they preferred the Pfizer vaccine.

Of those who preferred Moderna, 23% mentioned social media posts from family and friends. The effectiveness of the vaccine (32%), fewer side effects (31%), positive study data (30%) were also often justified.

For those who said they preferred J&J, the main reason (31%) cited was that the vaccine was only a shot. Many people said they already trusted the brand (26%) or said they had “good experiences” with the company’s products in the past (19%).

“The pandemic has created a seismic shift in the way Americans are perceived and interacted with pharmaceutical brands,” Mark Westall, vice president of research and insight at M Booth Health, said in a statement to CBS News. “This moment provides a rare opportunity for any pharmaceutical company to build on the rising wave of positive consumer sentiment and interest in how pharmaceuticals work.”


Johnson & Johnson, Pfizer, and Moderna – the three vaccines currently available in the US – were the three brands named by survey respondents, with 93% knowing J&J, 90% Pfizer, and 80% knowing Moderna.

These are numbers that are more likely to be seen by soda brands than pharmaceutical companies, Westall said. The way influencers and everyday Americans post about these brands on social media like TikTok and Instagram is an unprecedented and important driver of this, especially among Gen Z, he said.

According to the survey, 46% of Americans said they found Facebook to be the most useful social media site for learning about COVID vaccines as it is the best way to see and hear people’s experiences.

Many Americans are also open to the continued use of social media to share information about medicines. 39 percent said they would rather follow a pharmaceutical company or brand on Facebook than on other social media platforms.

One in three said they want companies to post photos and videos on social media that make it easier to learn more about their medications. That number rises to 44% for Generation Z, or people born between 1995 and the early 2000s.

One in three people also said that they think of pharmaceutical brands as they do consumer brands like Nike and Amazon today.

Gen Z is perhaps the age group most influenced by pharmaceutical branding in the age of COVID-19 vaccines, with 49% of respondents saying they are now more likely to tell their doctors that they prefer a particular brand of pharmaceuticals.

While vaccines have brought the names of pharmaceutical companies to the fore for many, it only appears to be the case with COVID-19 vaccines. Less than 3% of consumers could name a company that makes a vaccine against seasonal flu.

While the public is talking more about pharmaceutical companies and getting information from sources such as social media, 51% said their trust in these companies is still largely determined by what doctors say. And 37% of consumers said they were interested in hearing from government health officials about the safety and effectiveness of future vaccines and drugs.


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