As Vaccine Confidence Grows, the Public warms to Moderna

The Pulsar Vaccine Sentiment Index – tracking public and HCP perception of COVID Vaccines


As institutions give their stamp of approval and celebrities get the jab, positive attitudes towards the most talked-about vaccines are on the rise, with Moderna seeing the largest uplift according to our newest update to the Covid Vaccine Sentiment Index.

We launched the Vaccine Sentiment Index a few weeks ago to monitor attitudes towards each of the most-talked about vaccines, and to understand which events are causing the largest swings in sentiment around each vaccine brand. You can watch the Euronews TV segment covering the Vaccine Sentiment Index here.


Out of the five most-talked about Covid vaccines, positive sentiment around Moderna has taken off over the past days, with the US maker emerging from the middle of the pack to achieve its highest scores yet. 

While other brands struggle with clinical and geopolitical issues, Moderna has largely avoided these. In fact, its growth in positive sentiment is fuelled by strong international provisioning news and more light-hearted links with US pop culture. 

Take, for instance, Dolly Parton mentioning Moderna (a vaccine she partly funded the research for) ahead of her shot. 

Such endorsements accentuate positive supply news, like the company striking a deal to  provide 13 million doses to the Philippines – a country where both social media usage, and concerns about what kind of vaccine will be available, are very high.

As vaccinations trickle into our everyday lives, humor plays a part in normalisation. This very highly engaged pun, for instance, was a contributing factor to the vaccine attaining its highest score yet on March 6. 



But the growing positive sentiment is not just about Moderna. Over the course of 2021 so far, positive attitudes and confidence in vaccines appear to be on the rise overall – notwithstanding dips and spikes. If we take the mean of sentiment scores across all vaccines, we begin to see a growth trajectory in positive attitudes towards vaccines, and vaccinations.   

Confidence in vaccines grows globally



The Medical & HCP conversation


Compared to the general public, doctors and other health care practitioners’ opinions of the five vaccines are much more stable, barely moving for four out of the five most-talked-about vaccines.

Sinovac is the one vaccine to see an increase in positive sentiment – in part, at least, because the score was so low to start with.  However, the company’s reluctance to release trial data appears to contribute to a long-standing negative opinion among doctors, and it remains way behind the other four.




Vaccine Nationalism


The public conversation around vaccines revolves not only around vaccine brands, but also around the nations producing them. Vaccine nationalism and vaccine diplomacy have been prominent since the beginning of the pandemic, influencing both  governments’ decisions and the public’s opinions about them. 

We will revisit this topic more in depth in the coming week, but one lens through which to analyze our data is to isolate mentions of vaccines by how they are referred to: for instance, both “British” and “Russian” vaccines feature prominently, while “American’, accounts for much less conversation – a likely result of Americans themselves only receiving American-made vaccines.

Ahead of all these is terms of raw volume, however, stand reference to the ‘Chinese vaccine’ – mostly in reference to Sinovac, but also to Sinopharm, as well as other vaccines in the testing and development phases. This conversation revolves around vaccine provisioning around the world, the Chinese government, its willingness to distribute huge quantities of its vaccine, and worries about effectiveness and political dependency. 

Here are the communities talking about a “chinese vaccine.”


Conversation around the 'Chinese vaccine'


Unsurprisingly, its communities within Asia and Africa who account for large swathes of this conversation, as they debate the safety issues and cost at a time in which it’s harder to provision vaccines produced in Europe and North America. At the same time, we also see several of the largest groups – International Fox News Fans, Progressive Transnationals and BJP India – approach the distribution program as a concentrated push for global influence by the Chinese Government. 


If you’d like to discover more about this dataset or its methodology, and would like to understand the range of our data sources – including Sermo – to understand the healthcare and pharmaceutical conversation you can request a demo with one of our specialists today.

Where next?

The Covid Vaccine Sentiment Index: tracking public attitudes toward each vaccine

Attitudes to the Covid vaccine across US cities