- A new AP-NORC poll says that if it becomes available, only 49% of Americans plan to get it.
- 31% weren’t sure if they’d get vaccinated, another 1 in 5 said they’d refuse.
- According to the survey, 67% of people over the age of 60 said they wanted to be vaccinated.
People in the United States believe that even if scientists succeed in developing a vaccine for coronavirus, barely half of the American people will have access to it. Ordinary people do not seem to be very optimistic about a potential coronavirus vaccine developed by medical researchers around the world.
According to a recent survey conducted by the Associated Press and the NORC Center for Public Affairs on the availability of vaccines, only half of the US population expects to receive the vaccine. According to the survey, 31% of Americans cannot say for sure whether they will get this vaccine.
One in five citizens surveyed said they would refuse to be vaccinated. Seven out of 10 Americans also said they had concerns about vaccine safety.
Concerns of Medical Experts
Medical experts are already expressing concern about what will happen if US President Donald Trump fails to make 300 million vaccines available by next January. Dr. William Schaffner, an infectious disease specialist at Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville, Tennessee, said “it’s always better to under-promise and over-deliver.” He added, “the unexpected looms large and that’s why I think for any of these vaccines, we’re going to need a large safety database to provide the reassurance.”
Dr. Francis Collins is the director of the National Institutes of Health, and insists safety is the top priority. He said the NIH was developing a master plan for testing the COVID-19 vaccine on tens of thousands of people to prove that it is really effective and safe.
“I would not want people to think that we’re cutting corners because that would be a big mistake. I think this is an effort to try to achieve efficiencies, but not to sacrifice rigor,” he told the AP earlier this month. “Definitely the worst thing that could happen is if we rush through a vaccine that turns out to have significant side effects,” he added.
Who is Waiting for the Vaccine?
In a recent survey, those who came out in favor of vaccine development and its immediate use are those sections of society for whom the protection of themselves, their families, and then their communities is their number one priority.
“I’m definitely going to get it,” said Brandon Grimes, 35, of Austin, Texas. “As a father who takes care of his family, I think . . . it’s important for me to get vaccinated as soon as it’s available to better protect my family.”
The coronavirus is most dangerous for the elderly and those with heart disease, diabetes, and other chronic diseases. According to the survey, 67% of people over the age of 60 said they wanted to be vaccinated, while the proportion of relatively young people in favor of the vaccine was 40%.
In the United States, African-Americans and Latin Americans account for the largest number of deaths due to COVID-19. This has been attributed to unequal access to health care. Despite this, the results of the vaccine survey showed that 25% of African Americans, 37% of Latin Americans, and 56% of whites would like to be vaccinated.
“There’s still a large amount of uncertainty around taking the vaccine,” said Caitlin Oppenheimer, who leads NORC’s public health research. “There is a lot of opportunities to communicate with Americans about the value and the safety of a vaccine.”