About one in three Americans say they may or may not be vaccinated against COVID-19, according to a new survey. Experts say this is disappointing news if the country hopes to achieve herd immunity and defeat the epidemic.
The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research poll found that while 67% plan to get vaccinated or have already done so, 15% flatly said they will not and 17% say it is the most likely. Many expressed doubts about the safety and efficacy of the vaccine.
The survey indicates that skepticism persists in significant proportion after a month and a half of a vaccination campaign in which few or no side effects have been recorded among those vaccinated. It found that resistance is greatest among young people, people without college degrees, black Americans, and Republicans.
Dr. Anthony Fauci, the government’s top infectious disease specialist, estimates that 70-85% of the population need to be inoculated to stop the scourge that has killed nearly 470,000 people. He recently said that the emergence of more contagious variants of the virus increases the need for more people to get vaccinated and do so quickly.
Will 67% of the population be enough? “No. No, no, no, no, “replied William Hanage, an expert in disease dynamics at Harvard University. “It takes a high proportion of the population to be vaccinated to see a true result,” he added.
About 10% of the population, about 33 million people, have received at least one dose and 9.8 million are fully immunized, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) .
The survey of 1,055 adults, conducted from January 28 to February 1, reveals some ins and outs of skepticism.
Among those who absolutely refuse to receive the vaccine, 65% said they fear the side effects despite what has been recorded in recent months. The same percentage said they don’t trust vaccines. Additionally, 38% said they do not think they need a vaccine, while a similar proportion said they do not know if the vaccine is effective and do not trust the government.
Among those who say they probably won’t get vaccinated but don’t rule it out entirely, 63% say they’re waiting to see if it’s safe, and 60% say they fear side effects.
The AP-NORC survey of 1,055 adults, conducted from January 28 to February 1, used a sample taken from NORC’s AmeriSpeak probabilistic panel, designed to be representative of the US population. The margin of error is plus / minus 3.8 percentage points.
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