Only 42% of Americans now plan to receive a coronavirus vaccine – less than 55% who wanted the injection in May, while a third said they were ‘very concerned’ about the hasty development
- A YouGov / Yahoo! In the news survey, about 1,500 Americans were asked if they intended to receive a coronavirus injection if it was available
- Only 42% of American adults said yes in the survey released July 30
- For comparison, 55% percent of respondents planned to take the photo in May
- Democrats were more likely to get a chance than Republicans or Independents, but confidence has fallen in all three groups
- About 35% of respondents said they were ‘concerned’ about the safety of a shot developed on Operation Warp Speed’s accelerated timeline
Only 42 percent of Americans now plan to receive a coronavirus vaccine if and when one is available, nearly a quarter less than they said they would get the injection in May.
A number of companies making potential coronavirus vaccines have reported promising results from their testing, and several are now in the final stages of testing before (if all goes well) their shots can be marketed.
Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS), secretary Alex Azar, said on Wednesday that the “most historic advances” in the history of vaccine development have been made in the past two weeks.
But that progress is of little value if Americans don’t trust the shots that come out – and the trends documented by the latest iteration of YouGov / Yahoo! News surveys are nowhere near as promising as vaccine safety data.
The number of Americans planning to receive a coronavirus vaccine has steadily declined to just 42% as of July 30 (white), with more Democrats (blue) saying they will be vaccinated than Republicans (red) or independents (green), a YouGov / Yahoo! News research found
To provide valuable protection, a coronavirus vaccine must be at least 50 percent effective, experts said.
With any vaccine, there are small pockets of the population for whom the injection is not safe – namely, very young children, those with some immune diseases, and possibly the elderly, who are also most vulnerable to coronavirus.
Depending on the disease for which a vaccine is designed to protect, a certain percentage of the population must be vaccinated to protect those who cannot receive the injection, a principle known as herd immunity.
To establish herd immunity to coronavirus, a minimum of 60 percent of the U.S. population is required to receive an injection, if one is available, scientists estimate.
And if only the 42 percent of Americans who currently say they intend to take the photo will do so, the U.S. will not come close to herd immunity.
In the past four months, YouGov and Yahoo! have regularly surveyed approximately 1,500 American adults about their prospects for the coronavirus pandemic, including how they see progress toward a vaccine.
People surveyed in early May were much more optimistic about the coronavirus vaccine.
Almost enough to hit the herd’s immunity – 55 percent – said “yes” when asked if they would be vaccinated against the corona virus if there was an injection.
Much less was known about the vaccines that were under development in May, but confidence was greater.
The number of Americans sure that they will get the photo when it’s available has steadily declined since then.
In the survey published just two weeks later, the ‘yes’ had dropped to 50 percent.
Novavax’s shot (photo) showed promising data on Wednesday, but it doesn’t matter how good a shot is if enough Americans aren’t vaccinated (file)
On July 14, less than half – 46 percent – of the adults surveyed said they would definitely get a chance.
And on July 30, 23 percent fewer Americans (42 percent) plan to get vaccinated than just two months earlier.
Despite the launch and continued support of President Trump’s Operation Warp Speed - a program aimed at accelerating the development timeline of a potential vaccine – republicans have been consistently more skeptical about COVID-19 shots than their liberal counterparts.
As of May 6, republicans and independents were equally likely to receive a coronavirus injection, with 47 percent of each group saying they planned to get vaccinated.
The majority of Democrats – 70 percent – said yes, they would get a COVID-19 shot.
But by the end of July, numbers plummeted for all three groups: only 37 percent of republicans, 34 percent of independents, and 55 percent of Democrats said they plan to receive a coronavirus vaccine.
About a third of respondents said they are “very concerned” that a corona virus created on the accelerated timeline of Operation Warp Speed will not be safe.