Vaccine confidence grows under new administration, latest CUNY SPH Survey reveals

February 09, 2021

Under the Biden Administration, New Yorkers' acceptance of the Covid-19 vaccine has increased significantly. In September, 55% of residents reported they would take the vaccine when it became available and this January, 64% reported they would take it.

Differences in vaccine acceptance persist across racial and ethnic groups. Among Whites and Asians acceptance is 70-72%; among Blacks and Latina/os it is 57-58%. On a positive note, the largest increase in rate of acceptance was seen among Black respondents, up from 33% in September to 57% in January.

These are key findings from the most recent tracking survey of public perceptions and experiences in New York City during the Covid-19 pandemic, conducted January 29-31 by the City University of New York Graduate School of Public Health and Health Policy (CUNY SPH).

"Obtaining a steady supply of Covid-19 vaccines and distributing them equitably and efficiently, as well as reaching and convincing New Yorkers to take the vaccine are the pivotal challenges that lie ahead of us," said Dr. Ayman El-Mohandes, Dean of CUNY SPH. "The current strategy does not meet the needs of those with the greatest vulnerability."

Of concern, more than half (54%) of New York City respondents believe the state is not doing a good job of managing the vaccine rollout. Highest levels of disapproval were reported by Staten Island (59%) the Bronx (50%) and Manhattan (50%).

Almost half of New York City residents think that recovery will not happen until most New Yorkers are vaccinated. In contrast, only 53% of residents in the Bronx are willing to take the vaccine. This finding is of great concern, since the Bronx continues to bear the highest burden of infection and mortality associated with the pandemic.

Employment and Covid-19 Vaccine Acceptance

Respondents who are currently employed were more willing to accept Covid-19 vaccines (68%) as well as more likely to actually have been vaccinated. Among respondents who lost their job during the pandemic and remain unemployed, only 56% said they were willing to accept the vaccine.

These data suggest that a concerted effort will be needed to reach, inform, and motivate unemployed New York City residents to participate in the vaccination rollout.

The complete survey results and related commentary can be found at and JHC Impact, an initiative of the Journal of Health Communication: International Perspectives.


The CUNY Graduate School of Public Health and Health Policy (CUNY SPH) survey was the third study of a repeated cross sectional sample using n=1,000 New York City residents from January 29-31, 2021, the previous two surveys were conducted at the end of September and November 2020.

The representative area-based probability sample for New York City was n=1,000, with a margin of error (MOE) of +/- 3 percentage points. The data set was weighted by gender, age, ethnicity, education, and borough based on the 2019 1-year American Community Survey model. Additional considerations beyond the ACS model influenced weights for race/ethnicity as the Census Bureau collects two sets of race/ethnicity data by grouping Hispanics and races together (e.g., Hispanic Whites) as well as separating non-Hispanic and Hispanic groups. To create one data set that more appropriately represents the racial diversity in the city, we grouped Hispanic and Latina/os respondents together. It is important to remember that subsets based on gender, age, ethnicity, and region carry with them higher margins of error, as the sample size is reduced.

Sampling parameters were set based borough-level population data:The data was collected by Consensus Strategies using an Interactive Voice Response (IVR) system of landlines (n=511), SMS-to-online (n=490).


1,001 Residents NYC


18-19 23%
30-44 28%
45-59 24%
60+ 26%


Male 46%
Female 50%
Prefer not to say 2%
Other 1%

Race and ethnicity

Latina/o/Hispanic 29%
Black/African American 22%
Asian 14%
Caucasian/White 32%
Multiple/other 3%

Education Level

High school 42%
Some college 20%
Bachelor's 22%
Post-grad 16%

Household Income

<$50,000 43%
$50,000-$100,000 30%
>$100,000 13%

CUNY Graduate School of Public Health and Health Policy

Related Public Health Articles from Brightsurf:

COVID-19 and the decolonization of Indigenous public health
Indigenous self-determination, leadership and knowledge have helped protect Indigenous communities in Canada during the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, and these principles should be incorporated into public health in future, argue the authors of a commentary in CMAJ (Canadian Medical Association Journal)

Public health consequences of policing homelessness
In a new study examining homelessness, researchers find that policy such a lifestyle has massive public health implications, making sleeping on the street even MORE unhealthy.

Electronic health information exchange improves public health disease reporting
Disease tracking is an important area of focus for health departments in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Pandemic likely to cause long-term health problems, Yale School of Public Health finds
The coronavirus pandemic's life-altering effects are likely to result in lasting physical and mental health consequences for many people--particularly those from vulnerable populations--a new study led by the Yale School of Public Health finds.

The Lancet Public Health: US modelling study estimates impact of school closures for COVID-19 on US health-care workforce and associated mortality
US policymakers considering physical distancing measures to slow the spread of COVID-19 face a difficult trade-off between closing schools to reduce transmission and new cases, and potential health-care worker absenteeism due to additional childcare needs that could ultimately increase mortality from COVID-19, according to new modelling research published in The Lancet Public Health journal.

The Lancet Public Health: Access to identification documents reflecting gender identity may improve trans mental health
Results from a survey of over 20,000 American trans adults suggest that having access to identification documents which reflect their identified gender helps to improve their mental health and may reduce suicidal thoughts, according to a study published in The Lancet Public Health journal.

The Lancet Public Health: Study estimates mental health impact of welfare reform, Universal Credit, in Great Britain
The 2013 Universal Credit welfare reform appears to have led to an increase in the prevalence of psychological distress among unemployed recipients, according to a nationally representative study following more than 52,000 working-age individuals from England, Wales, and Scotland over nine years between 2009-2018, published as part of an issue of The Lancet Public Health journal on income and health.

BU researchers: Pornography is not a 'public health crisis'
Researchers from the Boston University School of Public Health (BUSPH) have written an editorial in the American Journal of Public Health special February issue arguing against the claim that pornography is a public health crisis, and explaining why such a claim actually endangers the health of the public.

The Lancet Public Health: Ageism linked to poorer health in older people in England
Ageism may be linked with poorer health in older people in England, according to an observational study of over 7,500 people aged over 50 published in The Lancet Public Health journal.

Study: Public transportation use linked to better public health
Promoting robust public transportation systems may come with a bonus for public health -- lower obesity rates.

Read More: Public Health News and Public Health Current Events is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to