The latest Gallup Poll in late September showed only half of Americans say they will get a COVID-19 vaccine even it is cleared and approved by the Food and Drug Administration. That number is down 11% from a previous poll in August that found 61% of Americans would be likely to get the vaccine.
According to Forbes, the willingness to get a vaccine was split down party lines. More Republicans said they would get vaccinated now, jumping from 37% in August to 49% in the latest poll. Democrats hit a new low in their inclination to be vaccinated, dropping from 78% in the August poll to only 53% now.
According to Forbes, young adults are more likely to get vaccinated and are more positive about the safety of the drug than middle-aged or older adults. The poll also showed men (56%) are more willing than women (44%) to be vaccinated.
Our track record for vaccinations is not encouraging. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says only 40-45% of U.S. adults received the flu vaccine in the past decade, according to The Hill.
Dr. Phoebe Danziger, a pediatrician at the Michigan Medicine Pediatric Clinic, told The New York Times she is all too familiar with skeptics who mistrust the safety of vaccines in general, let alone one that was fast-tracked by political pressure.
Danziger said we need to change our strategy and convince religious leaders, media personalities, and alternative healthcare providers to encourage Americans to get vaccinated. And we also need to convince people vaccines are safe, perhaps by creating a "green vaccine" with natural ingredients and additives.
She said we cannot simply accept, if a vaccine is developed, Americans will be flocking to healthcare practitioners for their shot.
"Sufficiently widespread vaccination will be possible only if the values and goals of a vaccine program are discussed explicitly, transparently, and early," she said, according to the Times.
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