More than one in three Americans nationwide say they will not get a coronavirus vaccine once it is available, an NPR/PBS NewsHour/Marist poll released Friday found.
Thirty-five percent of respondents said that they would not take the vaccine, 60 percent said they would and 5 percent said they were unsure.
Those with college degrees are 19 points more likely to take a vaccine than those without, 72 percent to 53 percent. Democrats were also more likely to be willing to take the vaccine than Republicans, 71 percent to 48 percent.
The poll noted that in 2009 only 51 percent said they would take a vaccine for H1N1, though that disease was less deadly and had a narrower impact on daily life.
Dozens of vaccines around the world are in the process of being developed, with a handful of them in the final phases of trial. The timeline is crunched significantly compared to the production of other vaccines, and even then, one is not expected to be available until early 2021.
In an interview with The Hill, National Institutes of Health (NIH) director Francis Collins said that if “half the nation says, ‘No, I don’t want this vaccine,’ then this coronavirus pandemic could go on and on and on, to the great detriment of our country, and putting vulnerable people at risk.”
“I’m surprised, frankly, that the resistance to this vaccine has reached the level that it has. I thought when people saw the terrible tragedies and suffering that’s around us from this illness that maybe some of the resistance that we’ve seen to other childhood vaccines would not kick in,” Collins added. “But at the moment, it seems to be quite prominent.”
Three-fourths of Americans said that they trust information coming from public health officials, and 62 percent said they trust state elected leaders. President Trump and the news media don’t fare as well, at 31 percent and 46 percent respectively.
The poll has similar results to one published by Gallup earlier this month. In that poll, 35 percent said they would not get the vaccine while 65 percent said they would.
The NPR/PBS NewsHour/Marist poll was conducted among 1,118 registered voters Aug. 8-11 and reported a margin of error of plus or minus 3.3 percent.
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