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.
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.
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.
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.
“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.