As the United States gets closer to developing and distributing a vaccine for the coronavirus pandemic, it appears that Americans aren’t as keen on the idea as the government might hope. According to a recent survey, only half of the population plans to take the vaccination when it is released.
The poll, which was conducted by The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research, revealed that about a quarter of adults are not sure if they want to take the vaccination, while another quarter indicated that they would refuse it.
The New York Post reported:
“Many on the fence have safety concerns and want to watch how the initial rollout fares — skepticism that could hinder the campaign against the scourge that has killed nearly 290,000 Americans. Experts estimate at least 70% of the U.S. population needs to be vaccinated to achieve herd immunity, or the point at which enough people are protected that the virus can be held in check.”
Kevin Buck, a 53-year-old marine from Eureka, California told the Post that he has “a little bit of trepidation towards it. But he indicated that if the initial doses go well, he and his family will probably take the shot.
“It seems like a little rushed, but I know there was absolutely a reason to rush it,” he said. “I think a lot of people are not sure what to believe, and I’m one of them.”
Health authorities seem to be struggling to convince Americans that the vaccination is safe. This is especially true when it comes to black Americans, who are disproportionately wary of the shot.
Initial testing showed that the vaccinations are viable inoculations against COVID-19.
From The New York Post:
“Early data suggests the two U.S. frontrunners — one vaccine made by Pfizer and BioNTech and another by Moderna and the National Institutes of Health — offer strong protection. The Food and Drug Administration is poring over study results to be sure the shots are safe before deciding in the coming days whether to allow mass vaccinations, as Britain began doing with Pfizer’s shots on Tuesday.”
Despite the news about the initial testing, Americans still seem concerned about getting vaccinated. “In the survey of 1,117 American adults conducted Dec. 3-7, about 3 in 10 said they are very or extremely confident that the first available vaccines will have been properly tested for safety and effectiveness. About an equal number said they are not confident. The rest fell somewhere in the middle,” according to the Post.
Health experts have insisted that those who developed the vaccines did not cut corners or take shortcuts in creating the injection. They explained that the reason they were able to create the solution so quickly is because of billions in government funding and years of research behind the scenes.
But concerns over the safety of the vaccine abound. Among those who indicated they would not get vaccinated, seven out of 10 cited fears over the side effects even though both Pfizer and Moderna stated that their testing has uncovered no series effects so far other than the usual fever, fatigue, or soreness that is common in most vaccines.
Earlier this week, Moncef Slaoui, the chief adviser for Operation Warp Speed stated that life in America would be getting back to normal by the spring of next year after the vaccines are widely disseminated. But if Americans choose to refuse the vaccine in high numbers, this might not be the case.
However, it makes sense that many would be leery over a vaccine that was developed so quickly. It is likely that most will wait until after the first adopters take the vaccine to make up their minds. If they see that getting vaccinated does not cause any harm, they will be more comfortable with getting the shot.