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Only Half of Americans Say They'll Get Vaccinated for Covid-19, According to New Poll

Trump supporter hold a rally to call for the reopening of the California economy in Woodland Hills, California, on May 16, 2020.
Trump supporter hold a rally to call for the reopening of the California economy in Woodland Hills, California, on May 16, 2020.
Photo: Getty Images

Only about half of Americans say that they’d like to get vaccinated for the new coronavirus if or when a vaccine becomes available, according to a new poll from the Associated Press and the NORC Center for Public Affairs Research. The poll, which was conducted between May 14-18, is a troubling sign that Americans may not be able to achieve herd immunity through vaccination.

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The new poll results, released early Wednesday, found that 49 percent of American adults said they plan to get vaccinated if a coronavirus vaccine becomes available. Just 20 percent said they do not plan to get vaccinated, with the remaining 31 percent saying they’re “not sure.”

The covid-19 pandemic has sickened at least 1.68 million Americans and killed 98,929, according to the latest figures from the Johns Hopkins University coronavirus tracker, with the elderly facing the highest death toll. It’s no surprise then that the age group with the most enthusiasm for a coronavirus vaccine was people over the age of 60, where 67 percent of people in that group said that they plan to get the vaccine if it’s offered. Just 40 percent of Americans aged 18-59 said that they plan to get the vaccine.

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Predictably, there was a partisan divide to the question as well, with 62 percent of Democrats saying they plan to get the vaccine, with just 43 percent of Republicans saying they want to get vaccinated. Twenty-six percent of Republicans said they would not get vaccinated. A different poll, conducted by YouGov for Yahoo News, found that 44 percent of Republicans in the U.S. believe, “Bill Gates is plotting to use a mass covid-19 vaccination campaign as a pretext to implant microchips in billions of people and monitor their movements.”

The single largest group that said they would not get the vaccine, according to the new AP poll, was black Americans. Forty percent of black people in the U.S. said that they did not plan to get the vaccine, while just 25 percent said they would. Hispanic Americans were the most unsure about getting the vaccine, according to the new poll, with 37 percent saying that they were “not sure” whether they wanted to get vaccinated. Thirty-seven percent of Hispanics also said that they were planning to get the vaccine.

As the Associated Press notes, some people are concerned about the safety of a new vaccine. And while there is definitely a strong anti-vaccine movement in the United States, not everyone who’s wary of the hypothetical coronavirus vaccine is an anti-vaxxer. Some people who spoke with the AP said that they don’t have faith we’ll know all the possible side effects of a new vaccine that’s being rushed through development and manufacturing.

There’s still the question of whether an effective vaccine can be developed at all, and the new AP poll asked respondents about when they expect a vaccine to become available. Twenty percent of Americans said they expect a vaccine to be available by the end of the year, something that the Trump regime has promised. But a majority of Americans, 61 percent, said that they expect a vaccine to be available “at some point in 2021.” Just 17 percent said they expect a vaccine in 2022 or later.

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President Donald Trump has promised that a vaccine will be available by the end of the year in something he’s calling Operation Warp Speed. The president even trotted out Defense Secretary Mark Esper recently to promise that a vaccine was coming, insisting that the Department of Defense was assisting in the effort. Most experts believe it will take considerably longer than the end of the year to ramp up production on any hypothetical vaccine for covid-19.

At least 100 vaccines are currently in development around the world, with some people experiencing severe adverse reactions in clinical trials. Ian Haydon, a 29-year-old man in Seattle, Washington, experienced a bad reaction to Moderna’s vaccine, developing a fever of 103 degrees after getting his second dose, according to health news outlet Stat.

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“As we rush to get a vaccine developed as quickly as possible, the reality of vaccine development is that it can only be rushed so much and the trial still needs to take place,” Haydon, who stressed he doesn’t want there to be a stigma around vaccines, told Stat. “They have to move at the speed they move at. And stories like what happened to me, they matter because they shape the approval process.”

Four people have developed an adverse reaction to the vaccine in Moderna’s 45-person clinical trial so far, according to Stat, but that’s all part of the process of developing a vaccine that produces enough anitbodies to fight off potential infection without hurting the who receives the vaccine.

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Matt Novak is the editor of Gizmodo's Paleofuture blog

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DISCUSSION

Good. Save it for me and my family. How self-less.

The funny thing about this virus is that it really doesn’t care about your opinions or political views, it will make your life a living hell and it has a high chance of killing you, regardless of who you vote for this November.

I think that there is a certain political party that is more vulnerable than most. A party that is made up of elderly voters and rebellious folk who don’t wear masks or get regular checkups at the doctor’s office. A party that believes face masks infringe on personal freedoms, but still show up wearing pants......usually (people of Walmart).

This is the most dangerous point of this pandemic. Here at the end of May, we’re right back where we were at the end February. Everything will be open, people gathering, letting down their guard. There is still no vaccine, no easy access to testing, no cure, no symptoms, no treatment, many people still think it’s a hoax. We are at the same level of Not Giving a Fuck, as we were on February 29th, but here’s the difference. On Feb 29th, there were 60 active cases in the US. Today there are 1.15 Million active cases (confirmed). Your chances of running into an infected person are almost 2000X higher, now, and we’re all ready to go back to church, send our kids to school, and get back to the stores.

Without a second wave, 280,000 Americans MINIMUM will die before Jan 1. That’s 58k people in April, 48k people in May, and a 17% decline every month from here until the end of December: 280,000 American Deaths.

The anti-vax, anti-mask, anti-CDC community is going to slowly die out, either literally or by experiencing an outbreak that hits close to home. Being anti-CDC is going to become pretty unpopular by Fall, I can guarantee it. Much like Trump’s other blind bets, this is one he probably won’t win: Politicizing the mask.

Trump has outright refused to wear a mask because he thinks it makes him look weak. He’s convinced other people in his circle to not wear masks, he even convinced neutral parties not to wear a mask during meetings (Ford, for example). He’s decided to begin shaming people who wear masks, including Biden, and I think this is going to hand Biden the presidency.

Trump is using the mask as political fuel. He made the mask political, he made the mask symbolic. He’s making a new political and social divide between those who wear masks and those who don’t and it’s not a good look for a president with 280,000 American deaths (*minimum) under his belt.

I live in a deeply conservative area. Many of them are elderly, but regardless, they’re not afraid to speak their mind about politicians, even interrupt and curse at a complete stranger when they disagree. One thing they CAN agree on is wearing a mask when they shop, work, cut their hair, and go to the park. Mask wearing is probably around 90-95% of all people I see, so I can’t imagine that, even in Trump’s heartland, his anti-mask propaganda is getting a positive reaction.

Biden is going to run with this. He is going to wear a mask to every event and the people are going to LOVE it. It’s mind-blowing that this is reality. We actually exist in a world where a face mask has become a symbol to overthrow a tyrannical, lying government.

All I can say is this. Wear your masks, now. Wear your masks when you vote.
Remember, Remember to Vote on the 3rd of November.