Nearly half of all Americans, including a majority of Republicans, say they definitely or probably would not get the Covid-19 vaccine if it were available today, according to a new poll, the latest sign of fear and uncertainty as President Trump promises a fast vaccine and his own health officials warn it could take many more months for one to be ready.
When asked if they would get “a vaccine to prevent Covid-19 if it were available today,” 51% of U.S. adults say they would “definitely or probably” get vaccinated, while 49% said they would not.
Despite Trump accusing Joe Biden, and Biden’s running mate, Sen. Kamala Harris, of propagating “reckless anti-vaccine rhetoric,” Democrats, and those who lean to the Democratic Party, were found to be 14% more likely than Republicans to get a vaccine (58% vs. 44%).
“Let me be clear. I trust vaccines. I trust scientists,” Biden said in a speech on Wednesday. “But I don’t trust Donald Trump. And at this moment, the American people can’t either.”
The new national survey by Pew Research Center, conducted Sept. 8-13 among 10,093 U.S. adults and published on Thursday, finds Americans’ intent to get a coronavirus vaccine has diminished significantly across all major political and demographic groups.
A previous Pew survey conducted in early May revealed that around seven in 10 adults (72%) said, at that time, they would get a coronavirus vaccine if one were available.
In May, 42% of respondents said they would definitely get a coronavirus vaccine, but that number was cut in half in the September survey (21%).
“We’ll have a vaccine in a matter of weeks, it could be four weeks, it could be eight weeks, but we’re going to have it,” Trump said in an interview on Tuesday. However, on Wednesday afternoon, Dr. Robert Redfield, the head of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, told lawmakers that although a limited supply of the vaccine may be available by the end of 2020, it will not be “generally available” to the public until the middle of 2021. Trump reiterated his claim Wednesday evening that a vaccine would be ready “sometime in October” or shortly thereafter. When asked about the CDC director’s comments earlier in the day, Trump said Redfield “made a mistake” and “misunderstood” the questions. In a Navigator Research Poll released Wednesday, only 41% of Americans say they trust Trump to provide truthful coronavirus vaccine information. Many expressed concerns that the president and his administration are rushing to get a vaccine developed. Although 71% of respondents in the Navigator poll (which surveyed 1,007 registered voters between Sept. 10-14) said they were “pro-vaccine,” only half said they would get a coronavirus vaccine when one is available
“We can’t allow politics to interfere with a vaccine in any way. Americans have had to endure President Trump’s incompetence and dishonesty when it comes to testing and personal protective equipment,” Biden said Wednesday. “We can’t afford to repeat those fiascos when it comes to a vaccine. The stakes are too high,”
1,293: That’s the number of Covid-19 deaths in the United States on Tuesday, the country’s highest one-day total since Aug. 19.