Tuesday, June 02, 2020

Survey says that most Americans wouldn't get a coronavirus vaccine anyway

Most people (and most governments) are desperate for a COVID-19 vaccine. People are saying it is the only way we will be able to get back to something approaching normal, and to achieve herd immunity we apparently need 70-90% of the population to be immune, one way or another
And yet a recent survey in America suggests that less than half of the population (49%) would bother to get vaccinated! To be fair, another 31% say they are not sure (why would you not be sure?), but fully 20% say they have no intentions of availing themselves of the vaccine! In fact, only 65% of those who think that vaccination is important or essential for re-opening the economy say they will get vaccinated. So, how do they think that re-opening is going to happen, then?
I find all this hard to come to terms with. So, people are enjoying the way things are at the moment? What is going on here? Now, this is America, and a lot of Americans are, well, weird, as we have been seeing in recent weeks. But imagine if this was a global trend! The only other similar survey I have seen is from Germany, and it yielded shockingly similar results: only about half say they would get a vaccine, and a fifth say they definitely won't.
The American survey gets even weirder when we start to look into the detailed demographics of the survey results. 16% of whites say they will not get the vaccine, but a massive 40% of blacks and 23% of Hispanics plan on refusing it (only 25% of blacks will definitely get vaccinated). 26% of Republicans don't want the vaccine, compared to 43% that do, while 14% of Democrats don't want it compared to 62% that do (among independents, the biggest block -  46% - is firmly in the "not sure" camp which, given their voting intentions probably makes sense).
Of the 20% of Americans who say they definitely wouldn't get a coronavirus vaccine, 42% say they are worried that they would contract the virus from the vaccine, which just goes to show how ill-informed people are. About 70% say they are worried about side-effects from the vaccine - an almost reasonable position to take, but don't they think that the virus itself might be worse? 31% say they are not worried about getting seriously ill from the virus anyway (and the devil take everybody else!), and nearly as many say that they just don't think that vaccines in general work very well. A not-insignificant few say they just won't have to time to go get a vaccine, because, you know, stuff to do!
It makes extraordinary - and scary - reading. I'm not going to read it again.

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