LAKE MARY, Fla. - Federal health officials say the coronavirus vaccine may be ready in less than two months but recent polls show Americans are hesitant to get it.
“I’m fairly skeptical. I’ve never even had a flu shot. I’m probably not going to be quick to run to it,” said Andrew Losinger in Orlando Friday.
On the other hand, Philip Maxwell says he’s excited to be among the first to have access.
“I work in healthcare. As a healthcare provider, because I’m actually on the frontline, we are required to get it if we’re going to continue fighting the pandemic and being on the front doorstep,” Maxwell said.
Recent polls attempt to take the temperature of people ahead of the vaccine’s approval. A USA Today/Suffolk poll says two-thirds of voters won’t try to get the vaccine as soon as it’s available. A FOX News poll from last month showed around 55% percent of Americans planned to get it.
“Before COVID started we were already seeing increases in vaccine hesitancy – people that either delay or refuse vaccines – that was before the pandemic,” said Rupali Limaye, an associate scientist at Johns Hopkins School of Public Health.
She says there’s another element at play right now that may be scaring people away from the vaccine.
“Then we have an administration that calls vaccine development ‘Operation Warp Speed.’ That doesn’t necessarily convey a comprehensive, thorough process,” Limaye explained.
Just Sunday, the head of the FDA said the agency would be willing to consider fast-tracking the vaccine.
“I think what has happened now is there’s a huge concern that there are steps that are being skipped,” Limaye said.
She added that vaccine scientists are now concerned that if so many people opt out of the vaccine, we will not be able to achieve herd immunity and it could prolong the pandemic.