[Many registered voters] want to wait until [a COVID vaccine] has been available for a while to see if there are major problems or side effects, a new Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll shows.
The survey found that 20% of respondents said they would take a vaccine as soon as one becomes available, while about half the respondents wanted to wait until they learned more information about the shot.
If too many people refuse to get the shots, businesses, schools and other establishments won’t be able to safely reopen, according to health authorities, because vaccines’ effectiveness hinges not only on how well each works in an individual but also on how widely they are used.
To reach so-called herd immunity for Covid-19, public-health authorities estimate that around 60% to 70% of a given population would need to develop an immune response to the virus, either through infection or vaccination.
“Unfortunately this pandemic and the vaccine development have become politicized,” said Dr. Archana Chatterjee, dean of the Chicago Medical School at Rosalind Franklin University of Science and Medicine, who sits on a committee advising the U.S. Food and Drug Administration about vaccines.
“What we would usually rely upon, which is you trust the doctors, you trust the scientists and the governmental processes by which safety and efficacy of vaccines are assured, really have been undermined,” she said.