A majority of Americans wouldn't rush to get a Covid-19 vaccination, poll finds

Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NAID), says we should have a coronavirus vaccine by the end of the year. But with less than half of Americans willing to get the vaccine, who knows how effective it will be in eradicating Covid-19.

A recent poll by Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research found that only 49% out of 1,056 Americans asked said they would definitely get the Covid-19 vaccine. To get herd immunity, we need at least 70%–90% of the population to get vaccinated, according to Johns Hopkins.

The most popular reason for not wanting to get the vaccination is fear of side effects from the shot. Others shrug off the future vaccine as something they don't think will do much good. And then there are those who think they will catch the disease from the shot itself.

From Popular Science:

The most common concern cited by far … is one that some people express about every vaccine: potential side effects. Again, it's absolutely true that there are some side effects to vaccines. But in the vast majority of cases, these are minor reactions. Often they're symptoms that mimic the disease itself, like a fever, since the body is mounting an immune reaction against the virus—that's how vaccines work, after all.

Of those who say they wouldn't get a coronavirus vaccine, more than 40 percent said they would be concerned about getting COVID-19 from the vaccine itself, which is scientifically not a possibility. Modern vaccines don't contain live viruses that are able to infect humans, and there's no reason to think that a coronavirus vaccine would be any different. Nearly a third of people said they just didn't think vaccines worked very well. It's true that some vaccines do not work very well—the flu vaccine is a great example. Often it has around a 40 percent efficacy rate, and the influenza virus mutates so quickly that we have to make a new vaccine every year. But even setting aside the fact that the vast majority of other vaccines work extremely well—to the point that we've used vaccines to eradicate one disease (smallpox) and nearly eradicate another (polio)—we have to remember that even relatively ineffective vaccines help us combat a virus. People who get the flu vaccine are less likely to get seriously ill from the flu, even if they still get some symptoms. The same may be true for a COVID-19 vaccine.

Image: kfuhlert/Pixabay