Nearly 84 percent of Americans now say they will get a coronavirus vaccine – but most of that group doesn’t want to get the shot right away, a new poll reveals.
Forty-five percent of people want to ‘wait a bit’ before they get vaccinated, according to the latest ABC News/Ipsos survey.
The massive vaccine rollout has begun in the U.S., with hundreds of Americans – mostly high-risk health care workers – receiving their first doses of Pfizer‘s shot on Monday.
WIth a first vaccine given emergency approval last week, and a second approval expected this week (for Moderna’s vaccine), the new concern for health officials isn’t when the U.S. will have a jab, but whether Americans will trust it enough to get it.
According to the new survey of 621 people, 15 percent of Americans still say they will ‘never’ get a COVID-19 vaccine.
More than 80 percent of Americans over 18 said they do plan to get vaccinated – but most of those (44%, in green) plan to ‘wait a bit’ after the authorization of shots to get theirs
More than 90% of survey respondents agreed that health care workers should be vaccinated first, while athletes and elected officials fell to the back of the line
That gives the U.S. a narrow margin for error, considering that Dr Anthony Fauci has said that between 75 and 85 percent of Americans need to get vaccinated for the U.S. to reach herd immunity.
On the other hand, most Americans will likely have a while to wait before they’re eligible to get vaccinated, whether they want to wait or not.
The CDC recommended that health care workers and at-risk people living in congregate settings, such as nursing homes, get vaccinated first.
Prioritizing these groups will help reduce the burden of COVID-19 on the health care system, keep health care workers from inadvertently spreading the virus in hospitals, prevent massive outbreaks at nursing homes and reduce the number of people who die of coronavirus, since the elderly are most likely to be killed by coronavirus.
Sandra Lindsay, left, a nurse at Long Island Jewish Medical Center, was the first person inoculated with the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine by Dr Michelle Chester on Monday. Most Americans want to wait to get their shots, and will have to, due to how the CDC recommends vaccinations be prioritized
Beginning over the weekend, the U.S. started the first batch of 2.9 million coronavirus vaccines from Pfizer to administer to these groups.
Moderna says it is poised to start distributing 20 million shots by year-end as soon its shot is authorized, which is expected to happen on Friday.
Pfizer plans to ship a second batch of 2.9 million vaccines later this month, to be administered as second doses.
It’s not clear if or how many more doses Pfizer will ship to the U.S. by the end of December, though it plans a global distribution of 50 million shots worldwide.
Operation Warp Speed still aims to get 20 million Americans their first doses of coronavirus vaccine by the end of 2020.
Those 20 million doses will just about cover the 20.6 million health care workers and nursing home residents in the U.S., according to population estimates by Lending Tree.
So the rest of American – about 93.5 percent of the country – will have at least until the end of the month before taking the shot is an option.
And most Americans agree that that’s appropriate with 44 percent saying people like them are ‘medium’ priority and 36 percent said they are ‘low’ priority for vaccination against COVID-19, according to the new Ipsos poll.
The poll respondents fairly well agreed with the CDC’s priority recommendations.
Ninety-one percent said health care workers should be high priority and 83 percent said first responders were high priority.
Eight-three percent wanted elderly people to be prioritized for vaccination and 84 percent wanted those with pre-existing conditions to be at the front of the vaccination line.
Americans are less concerned with protecting politicians or sports stars, with just 16 percent saying elected officials should get priority and nine percent saying athletes should.
Two-in-five of the survey respondents said that they’ll get a vaccine as soon as possible.
Older Americans were even more eager, with 57 percent of over 65s saying they’ll get a vaccine as soon as it’s available to them.
Minorities were more hesitant, with 52 percent saying they will wait for a bit before getting a shot.
Republicans were more likely to say they will never get a vaccine (26 percent) and only 39 percent of respondents said they think their states should mandate vaccination.