Story at a glance

  • An NBC news poll revealed that only 44 percent of Americans would get a government-approved COVID-19 vaccine.
  • The answer is highly variable based on demographics.

Fewer than 50 percent of Americans are planning to get an FDA-approved coronavirus vaccine in the event it becomes available, according to a poll Tuesday conducted by NBC News.

Some of the respondents who opted not to receive the vaccine are reportedly wary of it but uncertain, while others say they won’t get it at all.

Conversely, about 44 percent of adult respondents said they would get vaccinated. Twenty-two percent declared they would not get the vaccine, and another 32 percent said that they are uncertain.


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The answer as to whether or not to get vaccinated varies based on the demographic of the respondent. People most likely to get a coronavirus vaccine are recipients of post-graduate degrees, showcasing a trend linking advanced education to likelihood of getting the vaccine.

On a partisan level, a majority of Democrats said that they would opt for a COVID-19 vaccine. On the Republican side, 31 percent reported that they are not sure whether or not they’d get vaccinated, and another 36 percent confirmed that they would get a vaccine. Thirty-three percent said that they would not.

Other groups with high opinions of a potential coronavirus vaccine include senior citizens, Asian Americans and people with an annual income of at least $100,000.

NBC writes that most other demographics expressed uncertainty or said they would not get vaccinated.

The latter demographic speaks to a correlation between increases in income and a respondents’ likelihood of wanting to get a COVID-19 vaccine. Another 45 percent of respondents within the income bracket of $50,000 to $99,999 said they would get a government-approved vaccine, as opposed to 22 percent who said they won’t and 32 percent who remain unsure.

Disparities in whether or not a respondent elects to be vaccinated is seen between races as well. Asian Americans, as aforementioned, are most likely to want to get vaccinated, followed by white Americans — 48 percent of whom would get the vaccine.

Hispanic Americans follow suit, with 40 percent opting to get vaccinated, but only 24 percent of Black Americans said that they would get an available vaccine. A plurality of Black respondents, 42 percent, said that they were uncertain about getting vaccinated.

The development of a vaccine has been of paramount importance since the onset of the pandemic, with the Trump administration providing billions in funding for a handful of pharmaceutical companies with the most promising candidates. Some of these companies are Moderna, AstraZeneca and Oxford, and Novavax.

Public health officials, like Anthony Fauci, have largely stuck to the end of 2020 into early 2021 as a timeframe by which an effective vaccine could be ready. 

The data was collected with SurveyMonkey online polls conducted from Aug. 10-16 and sampled 34,269 adults in the U.S. Its margin of error is 1 percentage point. 


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Published on Aug 18, 2020