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Seventy-one percent of Americans would get a coronavirus vaccine if it were free and widely available, a large increase from just a week ago, according to a poll released Tuesday.
About 71% of Americans would get a vaccine for the coronavirus if it were free and widely available, a large increase from a week ago, according to a poll released Tuesday by the Washington Post and ABC News.
Those results, obtained by a phone survey of a random sample of 1,001 adults from May 25 to May 28, show a significant increase in the number of people who say they would opt to be vaccinated. A poll released last week by the Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research, for example, found that only half of Americans would get the vaccine.
According to the Washington Post poll, interest in the vaccine varies along political lines. About 8 in 10 Democrats said they would definitely or probably receive the vaccination, while less than 6 in 10 Republicans said the same.
Half of respondents who would not get the vaccine said their hesitation was mostly due to distrust in vaccines in general, while 23% said they believed a vaccine was not necessary to protect against Covid-19.
In general, people who reported being worried about contracting the virus or spreading it to their family members—63%—were more willing to get vaccinated. Eighty-one percent of those respondents said they would be more likely to receive a vaccine, compared to 52% of people who said they were not as worried about becoming ill with the virus.
Researchers in several countries are working to develop a vaccine for the coronavirus, including two efforts led by the federal government. The first, a public-private partnership spearheaded by the National Institutes of Health, includes a dozen biopharmaceutical companies, a handful of federal agencies and the European Medicine Agency, all working to “develop an international strategy for a coordinated research response to the Covid-19 pandemic.”
The other, the Trump administration’s Operation Warp Speed, is helmed by a former chairman of pharmaceutical company GlaxoSmithKline and the commander of the U.S. Army Materiel, which oversees global supply chain for the Army. That effort aims to “have substantial quantities” of a vaccine available by the end of the year, which the president has said means at least 300 million doses. Experts have said that goal is likely unrealistic.
More than 104,000 people have died of the virus as of Tuesday, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the U.S. has more than 1.7 million confirmed cases.
Kate Elizabeth Queram is a staff correspondent for Route Fifty and is based in Washington, D.C.