Third Of Americans Would Say No To Coronavirus Vaccine, Even If Free
More than a third of Americans would refuse a free and Food and Drug Administration-approved coronavirus vaccine if one was ready today, according to new research.
The question posed to those polled in Gallup’s COVID-19 tracking survey was: ‘If an FDA-approved vaccine to prevent coronavirus was available right now at no cost, would you agree to be vaccinated?’
While 65% said they would get vaccinated if such an offer was presented to them, 35% said they would not – even if it came at no extra cost to them and it was deemed safe by the FDA.
It seems US party preferences play a strong role in Americans’ views on vaccination, with just less than half of Republicans (47%) willing to get the vaccine. In contrast, 81% of Democrats said they would get it.
A difference could also be seen with regards to race, with White Americans being more likely (67%) than ‘non-White Americans’ (59%) to say they would get a vaccine if it was available. ‘This is particularly noteworthy, given media reports on the pandemic noting that Black and Latino Americans have been disproportionately affected by COVID-19,’ the survey stated.
The poll also suggested that those living in rural areas are also less likely (56%) to get the vaccine than those in large cities (65%), figures likely to concern public health officials, as according to the CDC, ‘long-standing systemic health and social inequities have put some rural residents at increased risk of getting COVID-19 or having severe illness’.
Unsurprisingly, age also played a factor in who was willing to get a vaccine versus who wasn’t, with the youngest participants in the survey – those between the ages of 18 and 29 – having the highest percentage (76%) of ‘yes’ votes.
The oldest participants in the survey, those over the age of 65, also voted overwhelmingly in support of the vaccine, with 70% of those surveyed saying they would get one.
In contrast, only 64% of people between the ages of 30 and 50 years old and 59% of those aged between 50 and 64 years old said they would get the jab.
Gallup said in a post announcing its findings:
As the situation stands today, the nation’s influencers – including health professionals, policymakers and leaders – who see a vaccine as a way forward may have their work cut out for them in persuading Americans to take advantage of such an option.
Policymakers in government, healthcare, industry and education will need to anticipate that a significant proportion of the population will be hesitant to get a vaccine, even at no cost.
Such resistance is not unprecedented… Leaders in favour of a vaccine may be well-served to study what caused the public to ultimately adopt earlier vaccines as they consider how best to influence Americans to take advantage of such an option now.
As it stands, several different companies are working to develop a vaccine, with the US government having provided $10 billion of investment as part of ‘Operation Warp Speed’, which aims to deliver 300 million doses of a vaccine to Americans by January 2021.
And while President Donald Trump has already made the bold claim that a vaccine will be ready and approved for distribution before Election Day this November, Dr. Anthony Fauci – the nation’s top infectious disease expert – has urged Americans not to put all their faith in a vaccine.
‘We don’t know yet what the efficacy might be,’ Dr. Fauci said on Friday, August 7, as per the Daily Mail. ‘We don’t know if it will be 50% or 60%. I’d like it to be 75% or more. The chances of it being 98% effective is not great, which means you must never abandon the public health approach.’
I certainly know who I trust most on this one, and let’s just say it isn’t Trump.
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CreditsGallup and 2 others
Centers For Disease Control and Prevention