Segmenting the Non-Vaxxers

Non-vaxxers are not necessarily anti-vaxxers. Nope. They are just people who haven’t received the COVID vaccine.  Yet. For various reasons. And the variety of reasons is actually the theme of this NYT article.  

As I pondered each of the segments described here, my main thought was to question which of the reasons offered by these four behavioral segments makes the least sense. The largest segment, amazingly, hasn’t gotten the vaccine because its members deny that COVID presents a significant health risk. What? With over 500,000 Americans dead from the coronavirus???

And look at the other segments. Nine percentreport that they couldn’t afford the vaccine. Last I looked, “free” was the going price at most injection sites. 

Eight percent are in wait-and-see mode. Almost a year and a half into this, one wonders what they are waiting for.

And then there is the final segment. The 4% who believe that the health care system has not been fair to them.  Quite possible, but of questionable relevance. 

And there you have it. Several different “personas” that all wind up inhibiting the overall population from reaching herd immunity. As is pointed out in the article, the “psychobehavioral” segmentation approach being  used here permits better targeting and tailoring of pro-vaccine motivational messages than does an approach based on demographics. 

Bottom Line. But hold on a second. All of this leaves me wondering just how different these personas really are from one another. I’m thinking that all of the reasons offered here for vaccine avoidance might simply be different ways of saying “I don’t want to” or “I’m scared to.”

How do we drill down to find out what is really going on here?

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