Pew: About Half of U.S. Adults Say They Won’t Get a Coronavirus Vaccine

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September 19, 2020 Topic: Health Region: Americas Blog Brand: Coronavirus Tags: CoronavirusCOVID-19Coronavirus VaccineVaccineAnti-Vaxxers

Pew: About Half of U.S. Adults Say They Won’t Get a Coronavirus Vaccine

Does that put millions of American's at risk?

Nearly half of U.S. adults (49 percent) say they definitely or probably would not get a coronavirus vaccine at this time, according to a new survey conducted by the Pew Research Center.

The intent to get a vaccine has fallen from 72 percent in May—a sizable 21-percentage point drop. The share of respondents who would definitely get a vaccine now sits at just 21 percent.

Conducted between September 8 and 13 among 10,093 U.S. adults, the poll also found similar levels of hesitation among all major political and demographic groups.

Democrats and those who lean to that party are 14 percent more likely than their Republican counterparts to say they would probably or definitely get a vaccine (58 percent vs. 44 percent).

Just 32 percent of Black adults say they would definitely get a vaccine, compared to 52 percent of White adults, 56 percent of Hispanics, and 72 percent of Asian Americans.

It appears that many Americans are worried about the pace of the approval process and the safety and effectiveness of a potential vaccine.

“There are widespread public concerns about aspects of the vaccine development process,” the survey’s authors wrote.

“On the heels of a pledge from nine pharmaceutical companies to ensure that a potential vaccine would meet rigorous standards, the Center survey finds three-quarters of Americans (77 percent) think it’s very or somewhat likely a COVID-19 vaccine will be approved in the United States before its safety and effectiveness are fully understood.”

Nearly 80 percent say their “greater concern” is that the pace of the vaccine-approval process will move too quickly, without fully proving safety and effectiveness. Just 20 percent are more concerned that the process will move too slowly.

Among those who said they would not get a vaccine, 76 percent point to side effects as the major reason why they would definitely or probably not get it.

Most medical experts are still unsure how effective a coronavirus vaccine will ultimately be.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has already announced that it would authorize a vaccine if it was deemed safe and at least 50-percent effective.

White House coronavirus advisor Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, has said scientists are aiming to develop a vaccine that’s at least 75-percent effective.

Other major polls have also suggested that many Americans would refuse to roll up their sleeves for the shot.

According to a recent survey conducted by the Kaiser Family Foundation, 54 percent of respondents said they wouldn’t get vaccinated.

A Gallup poll revealed that 35 percent of Americans would refuse a free coronavirus vaccine, even if it is approved by the FDA.

According to a Yahoo News/YouGov poll, conducted between July 28 and 30, only 42 percent of Americans are planning to get vaccinated for coronavirus.

Moreover, 34 percent said they are “very concerned” about the safety of a “fast-tracked” coronavirus vaccine, and another 35 percent said they are “somewhat concerned.”

Ethen Kim Lieser is a Minneapolis-based Science and Tech Editor who has held posts at Google, The Korea Herald, Lincoln Journal Star, AsianWeek and Arirang TV. Follow or contact him on LinkedIn

Image: Reuters