A majority of voters say they expect a coronavirus vaccine will be available to the public by next year, according to a new Harvard CAPS-Harris survey released exclusively to The Hill on Friday.
Sixty-three percent of respondents said they think a vaccine for the virus will be available in 2021, while 37 percent said they believed it would be available by the end of the year.
The findings come after it was revealed Thursday that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) requested in a letter to state governors last week to speed up applications for building permits for vaccine distribution sites that would be operational just before November’s elections.
“The normal time required to obtain these permits presents a significant barrier to the success of this urgent public health program,” CDC Director Robert Redfield wrote in a letter. “CDC urgently requests your assistance in expediting applications for these distribution facilities and, if necessary, asks that you consider waiving requirements that would prevent these facilities from becoming fully operational by November 1, 2020.”
A vaccine before the presidential election could stand to benefit President TrumpDonald TrumpSenate rejects attempt to block Biden's Saudi arms sale Crenshaw slams House Freedom Caucus members as 'grifters,' 'performance artists' Senate confirms Biden's nominee to lead Customs and Border Protection MORE, who has received backlash for his administration's response to the pandemic.
"Trumps approval on the vaccine while improved is still only at 43 percent and that has depressed his vote," said Harvard CAPS-Harris polling director Mark PennMark PennMajority oppose overturning Roe v. Wade: poll More voters would pick Trump over Biden if election were held today: poll New poll shows challenges for Democrats ahead of 2022 MORE. "Further virus improvement and an approved vaccine would beat expectations and might reshape opinion but it’s hard to shake the belief that the virus is the new normal."
However, the same survey found that only 26 percent of respondents said they believed the vaccine would be available before November. Seventy-four percent said they believed the vaccine would be available after the election.
The Harvard CAPS-Harris Poll online survey of 1,604 registered voters was conducted Aug. 31 to Sept. 2. It is a collaboration of the Center for American Political Studies at Harvard University and The Harris Poll.
The Hill will be working with Harvard CAPS-Harris Poll throughout 2020.
Full poll results will be posted online later this week. The survey is an online sample drawn from the Harris Panel and weighted to reflect known demographics. As a representative online sample, it does not report a probability confidence interval.