One-third of Americans say they would not get a coronavirus vaccine should one become available, according to a multinational survey conducted by Ipsos on behalf of the World Economic Forum. Those in the United States appear to skew more skeptical of a COVID-19 vaccine, as 74% of people worldwide would be willing to become vaccinated, according to the survey results.
Currently, there are roughly 170 COVID-19 vaccine candidates under development, the World Health Organization says, with 26 of these in the human trial phase. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has released documents saying that a limited number of COVID -19 vaccine doses may be available in the United States by early November 2020 and that the COVID- 19 vaccine supply will increase substantially in 2021.
Still, many Americans fear the potential side effects of any forthcoming vaccines, according to the survey results.
Of the respondents in the United States who are opposed to receiving a COVID-19 vaccine, 60% were concerned about vaccine side effects and 37% do not think the vaccine would be effective. Respondents could identify multiple reasons as to why they would opt against a COVID-19 vaccine. Other reasons among American respondents included being generally against vaccines (20%), not being enough at risk for COVID-19 (19%), and not having enough time (3%).
A worldwide 26% shortfall in vaccine confidence could compromise the effectiveness of rolling out a COVID-19 vaccine, according to a statement from Arnaud Bernaert, head of shaping the future of health and healthcare at the World Economic Forum.
“It is therefore critical that governments and the private sector come together to build confidence and ensure that manufacturing capacity meets the global supply of a COVID-19 vaccination,” he said in the statement.
Nine drug companies in the United States pledged on Sept. 8 that they will not submit vaccine candidates for Food and Drug Administration review until their safety and efficacy are shown in large clinical trials. The pledge comes as a move to bolster public confidence in the potential vaccines. Some Americans fear political pressure is causing an unsafe race to have a vaccine released before the presidential election in November.
While there is an unprecedented, worldwide push for a vaccine, developing vaccines for novel viruses has typically taken months, if not years. As COVID-19 was sweeping the globe, President Donald Trump declared a national emergency on March 13. By April, officials like Dr. Anthony S. Fauci, the top American infectious disease expert, were estimating that it would take at least 12 to 18 months for a vaccine to arrive.
The Ipsos survey polled nearly 20,000 adults from 27 countries about their vaccine intentions. Fifty-nine percent did not expect that a vaccine would even be an option by the end of 2020.
The countries where COVID-19 vaccination intent is highest are China (97%), Brazil (88%), Australia (88%) and India (87%). Those where it is lowest are Russia (54%), Poland (56%), Hungary (56%), and France (59%). The U.S. stands at 67%.
What are your thoughts? Would you be willing to take a COVID-19 vaccine when it becomes available?