A new survey from the Pew Research Center found the majority of Americans expect a coronavirus vaccine in the next year and 72% would get one when it arrives.
The survey found 73% of U.S. adults said a coronavirus vaccine coming in the next year would “definitely” or “probably occur.” Seventy-two percent said that if the vaccine was available today, they would get one.
Men were more likely than women to say they would get a vaccine. The responses also showed a partisan divide: 79% of Democrats or Democrat-leaning people said they would get the vaccine, while 65% of Republicans or Republican-leaning people said the same.
The survey was conducted from April 29 to May 5 from a sample of 10,957 randomly selected adults from the American Trends Panel, a nationally representative panel created by Pew. The margin of sampling error for the respondents is plus or minus 1.4 percentage points.
A previous Morning Consult poll surveyed 2,200 U.S. adults and 64% said they would get a vaccine, McClatchy News reported. Thirty-six percent would opt out with 14% saying they would not get one and 22% not being sure, according to the survey.
Dr. Anthony Fauci, a member of the White House Coronavirus Task Force and a top infectious diseases expert, told NPR on Friday that getting a vaccine by the end of the year was “conceivable.”
“Back in January of this year when we started the Phase 1 trial, I said it would likely be between a year and 18 months before we would have the vaccine. I think that schedule is still intact,” Fauci said. “I think it is conceivable if we don’t run into things that are, as they say, unanticipated setbacks, that we could have a vaccine that we could be beginning to deploy at the end of this calendar year — December 2020 or into January 2021.”
Others experts say that the 12-to-18-month timeline is “optimistic” and that vaccines usually take eight to 10 years to develop.
“Tony Fauci is saying a year to 18 months — I think that’s optimistic,” Dr. Peter Hotez, a leading expert on infectious disease and vaccine development at Baylor College of Medicine, told CNN. “Maybe if all the stars align, but probably longer.”
“I don’t think it’s ever been done at an industrial scale in 18 months,” Dr. Amesh Adalja, a senior scholar on emerging infectious disease at the Center for Health Security at Johns Hopkins University, told CNN. “Vaccine development is usually measured in years, not months.”
Last week, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration fast-tracked a vaccine being developed by biotech firm Moderna. On May 6, the FDA approved the vaccine to proceed to Phase 2 and is expected to begin Phase 3 in “early summer of 2020.”
The U.S. also pledged $1.2 billion to help develop 300 million doses of the experimental vaccine from drugmaker AstraZeneca, McClatchy News reported.
Fauci has previously warned about rushing a vaccine before it’s ready.
Fauci said during his testimony to Congress last week that there could be repercussions to rushing vaccine trials, McClatchy News reported.
“I must warn that there’s also the possibility of negative consequences where certain vaccines can actually enhance the negative effect of the infection,” he said. “The big unknown is efficacy. Will it be present or absent, and how durable will it be.”
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