COVID-19 vaccine acceptance reaches ‘historical level of distrust,’ poll finds

The percentage of Americans who say they are likely to receive a COVID-19 vaccine as soon as one becomes available is dwindling, according to a recent survey conducted by STAT and the Harris Poll.

The poll gathered responses from 2,050 people from Oct. 7-10. Fifty-eight percent of respondents said they would get vaccinated as soon as a COVID-19 vaccine became available, down from 69 percent from the poll’s mid-August iteration.

The change is reflective of the nation’s increasing concern that the COVID-19 vaccine approval process is more influenced by politics than science.

“There’s a historical level of distrust,” Rob Jekielek, managing director of the Harris Poll, told STAT. “And when you think about stalling the spread of COVID-19, these findings indicate that we face an increasingly bigger problem.”

The poll showed the distrust is gaining more prominence among Black Americans than white Americans. The October poll showed 59 percent of white respondents would get vaccinated as soon as a COVID-19 vaccine is available, down from 70 percent from the poll’s mid-August iteration, and only 43 percent of Black respondents would get vaccinated as soon as a COVID-19 vaccine is available, down from 65 percent.

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