POLL: Less than half of Americans set to take a COVID-19 vaccine

"Many on the fence have safety concerns and want to watch how the initial rollout fare"

Updated: December 9, 2020 - 3:40pm

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A new poll finds that only about half of Americans are all in for taking a COVID-19 shot once a vaccine is approved.

In the survey, 47% said said they would get a vaccine, 26% said no and 27% said they weren't sure.

The poll, conducted by the Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research, found that 55% of males would get a vaccine, while 40% of women agreed. 

The findings varied widely by age: 51% of those 45 to 59 would take it, while just 36% of those under 45 said they planned to take a vaccine. Sixty-three percent said they either wouldn't take it or weren't sure if they would.

Race also played a factor: Just 24% of blacks and 34% of Hispanics said they'd take a vaccine, while 53% of whites would do so.

"Many on the fence have safety concerns and want to watch how the initial rollout fares – skepticism that could hinder the campaign against the scourge that has killed nearly 290,000 Americans," the AP wrote. "Experts estimate at least 70% of the U.S. population needs to be vaccinated to achieve herd immunity, or the point at which enough people are protected that the virus can be held in check."

Pollsters surveyed 1,117 American from Dec. 3 to 7.

The Food and Drug Administration said earlier this week that a vaccine by Pfizer and BioNTech had met safety and efficacy standard, which could result in full, emergency-use approval in the coming days.

Biotech firm Moderna on Nov. 30 moved to win emergency use authorization from the FDA for its experimental COVID-19 vaccine. 

A third vaccine is also in the pipeline. AstraZeneca and Oxford University on Nov. 23 said their jointly created COVID-19 vaccine has proven to be up to 90% effective and the makers claims will be easier to distribute.

The Pfizer vaccine was rolled out this week in Britain, but already there have been problems. 

"Britain’s medical regulator warned Wednesday that people with a history of serious allergic reactions shouldn’t receive the COVID-19 vaccine from Pfizer and BioNTech as investigators look into whether two reactions on the first day of the country’s vaccination program were linked to the shot," the AP reported on Wednesday.

Two people in the UK, both of whom work in the National Health Service, who have taken the vaccine had anaphylactoid reactions. Both recovered.