Surgo Ventures

How do we get America vaccinated?

To get to herd immunity, we need to take a psychobehavioral approach, tackle people’s barriers and get local

Who is/isn’t likely to get the vaccine? Why are they likely/not likely to get the vaccine? How do we respond?

Looking at Demographics Isn’t Enough

Graphic illustrating how traditional demographic segmentation looks only at demographics, including gender, geographic region, race, political party, and income.
Graphic illustrating how previous studies of COVID-19 vaccine confidence have focused on demographic groups — finding that women, rural residents, Black individuals, Republicans, lower-income individuals and essential workers tend to express lower likelihood of vaccine uptake.

We Need to Target People’s Barriers and Beliefs

Graphic illustrating how each one of Surgo Ventures COVID-19 vaccine personas (The Enthusiasts, Watchful, Cost-Anxious, System Distrusters, and COVID Skeptics) includes at least some of every demographic.

The Five Vaccine Personas in the U.S.

Graphic illustrating how many unvaccinated U.S. adults fall into each vaccine persona: Enthusiasts 39%, Watchful 20%, Cost-Anxious 14%, System Distrusters 9%, and COVID Skeptics 17%.

These Personas Differ in their Likelihood of Getting Vaccinated

Graphic illustrating that three of the personas — The Watchful, Cost-Anxious, and System Distrusters — can likely be convinced to take the vaccine. And each persona has the following likelihood of getting a vaccine (out of a 1–10 scale): Enthusiasts 9.37, Watchful 4.91, Cost-Anxious 4.16, System Distrusters 3.91, COVID-Skeptics 2.34.

Tackling Barriers = Reaching Herd Immunity Faster

Graphic showing the key barriers that each vaccine persona faces. Enthusiasts’ main barrier is appointment availability. Barriers for the Watchful are community norms and vaccine safety. Barriers for the Cost-Anxious are financial cost, time, and vaccine safety. Barriers for the System Distrusters are trust, access and inequity, and vaccine safety. Barriers for the COVID Skeptics are deeply held beliefs around COVID-19 and vaccine safety.

Customized Solutions for Each Persona

Graphic showing example targeted solutions to overcome barriers to getting a vaccine. For the Enthusiasts make it easy for them to get a vaccine, for the Watchful make it visible that others are vaccinated or have positive intent to be. For the Cost-Anxious bring vaccines to people and offer paid time off. For the System Distrusters listen and learn and partner with trusted community organizations. For the COVID Skeptics don’t try to debunk; instead enlist trusted figures to pursuade.

Identifying Segments and Implementing Local Solutions

Graphic showing how we use this segmentation approach in local communities. 1. Develop a vaccine typing tool to identify vaccine personas. 2. Identify which segment a person belongs to. 3. Deploy localized customized interventions.

How the Segments Shift over Time

Graphic showing the results of Surgo Ventures’ first survey in January 2021: Enthusiasts were 39% of the unvaccinated U.S. adult population, Watchful were 20%, Cost-Anxious were 14%, System Distrusters were 9%, and COVID Skeptics were 17%. One percent of the U.S. adult population was vaccinated.
Graphic showing the results of Surgo Ventures’ second survey in March 2021: Enthusiasts were 22% of the unvaccinated U.S. adult population, Watchful were 6%, Cost-Anxious were 9%, System Distrusters were 7%, and COVID Skeptics were 16%. 40% of the U.S. adult population was vaccinated.

The Time to Act is Now

Graphic showing the future state when 70% of the U.S. population is vaccinated and there are only small percentages of unvaccinated in each persona.

We use all the tools available from behavioral science, data science, and artificial intelligence to unlock solutions that will save and improve people’s lives.