USA

Survey: Almost Half of Americans Say ‘No’ To COVID Vaccine If Available Today

Nearly half of Americans, or 49%, said they definitely or probably would not get an inoculation if a coronavirus were available today, while 51% said they would, according to a Pew Research Center poll conducted earlier this month.

The 49% who lean toward rejecting the inoculation cited concerns about side effects from the vaccine.

The public’s trust in a safe COVID-19 vaccine coming to market has taken a tumble. In May, a Pew survey revealed 72% of Americans said they would be inoculated if the vaccine were available.

Only 21% in this month’s poll said they would definitely get the vaccine.

The recent Pew survey found that 77% of Americans believe the vaccines in development in the United States would likely be approved before their safety and effectiveness are completely understood.

Seventy-eight percent of the more than 10,000 survey participants, cited as a greater concern that the vaccine's approval will move too fast and not establish safety and effectiveness.

In comparison, only 20% said they are more concerned that approval will be too slow.

Early Friday, the Johns Hopkins Coronavirus Research Center reported there are more than 30 million COVID-19 infections worldwide and almost 950,000 deaths.

The United States has more cases than anywhere else in the world with 6.6 million, followed by India with 5.1 million cases and Brazil with 4.4 million.

The World Health Organization warned Thursday that the coronavirus has started to spread again across Europe at “alarming rates” and should serve as a “wake-up” call to European governments.

The European head of WHO, Dr. Hans Kluge, said during a virtual news conference from Copenhagen that the faster rate of transmission was among people between the ages of 25 and 49. WHO noted that infections were also rising faster among older people.

Kluge said the spikes in infections represent more widespread testing, but they also show “alarming rates of transmission across the region.”

Kluge warned European countries against shortening quarantine periods and urged them to adopt a coherent strategy to contain the spread of the virus, which he said has proven to be most deadly “whenever partisanship and disinformation prevailed.”

“Where the pandemic goes from here is in our hands,” he declared. “We have fought back before, and we can fight back again.”

The U.S. data released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention this week reveal that members of minorities younger than 21 years old are disproportionately affected by COVID-19 compared with white Americans in the same age group.

Between February 21 and July 31, 121 people under the age of 21 died of the disease, according to data compiled from 27 states. More than 75% of those young people were Hispanic, Black, American Indian or Alaska Native, even though they represent just 41% of the U.S. population.

A young woman wearing a face mask walks across the medieval Charles Bridge in Prague, Czech Republic, Friday, Sept. 18, 2020…
A young woman wearing a face mask walks across the medieval Charles Bridge in Prague, Czech Republic, Sept. 18, 2020.

A further breakdown of the numbers shows that Hispanic children made up 44% of the fatalities, and Black children made up 29%, compared with 14% for white children. American Indian and Alaska Natives accounted for 4% of COVID-19 deaths, with Asian and Pacific Islanders making up the same amount.

The CDC report also found that 75% of those who died had at least one underlying health condition such as asthma, obesity, neurologic and developmental conditions or cardiovascular conditions. Researchers pointed out that certain social conditions, including crowded living environments, food and housing insecurity, and wealth and education gaps, could be contributing factors in the high fatality rates among minority children.

The CDC on Wednesday outlined details of a plan to begin distributing a vaccine within 24 hours of official approval. Under the plan, the drug would be distributed once the Food and Drug Administration authorizes either an emergency use order or full formal approval, and would likely be administered first to essential personnel such as health care workers.

The agency said the vaccine would be administered free of charge to all Americans once it becomes widely available.

The announcement of the plan came on the same day President Donald Trump contradicted CDC Director Robert Redfield on when Americans would get a reliable COVID-19 vaccine.

Redfield told a Senate committee that a vaccine could be generally available to the American public in the second or third quarter of next year, with those most at risk such as the elderly and those with preexisting health conditions to be prioritized for vaccination.

In a news conference hours later, Trump made clear he did not like Redfield expressing a more cautious timeline.

“I think he made a mistake when he said that. That's just incorrect information," Trump told reporters. “Under no circumstance will it be as late as the doctor said.” 

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