Many scientists and experts agree that vaccination is the best way to bring an end to the devastating novel coronavirus pandemic, but a new poll shows that nearly half of Americans either won’t get the vaccine if one is created, or they aren’t sure if they will.
A majority — 55 percent — of Americans say they would get vaccinated against COVID-19, according to a Yahoo News/YouGov poll. The other 45 percent isn’t so sure. Of those polled, a full 26 percent say they are on the fence, while 19 percent say they won’t get the vaccine.
If that remains true if a vaccine is deployed nationwide, it means there could be tens of hundreds of millions of people in the United States who will remain without immunization. Because vaccines rely on the concept of herd immunity to be effective, this could largely negate the vaccine’s usefulness in stopping the pandemic.
However, given that there aren’t any details on the vaccination, its eventual effectiveness, and any side effects, it’s likely that these numbers will shift as more data becomes available.
“Given that other polls have shown 84 percent of Americans believe it’s either extremely or very important that parents vaccinate their children, it’s possible — even likely — that many holdouts will change their minds once a COVID-19 inoculation is shown to be safe and effective,” Yahoo News noted.
Even still, Yahoo observed that there has been an increase in anti-vaccination sentiment among some protesting the lockdown measures put in place by various state governors. This could have an eventual negative impact on the number of people willing to be inoculated if a vaccine becomes available, which the World Health Organization has warned is not a guarantee.
“Yet even that 84 percent number is down 10 points since 2001 due to a tenacious anti-vaccination movement that has made its presence felt at recent right-wing anti-lockdown protests, suggesting that efforts to sow doubts about an eventual COVID-19 vaccine might find a receptive audience,” Yahoo News wrote.
Many Americans polled said that they feel that it’s too early in most areas to be reopening. States like Georgia, Florida, Minnesota, and Texas have begun the process of reopening, but 59 percent of people say that these states are moving too quickly.
About 33 percent feel that the states are moving at the right pace.
Those polled said that of the places they would feel comfortable going to, parks and beaches top the list, while bars and sporting events sit at the bottom of the list.