ONE third of Americans would refuse a coronavirus vaccine even if it were free, a recent poll of more than 7,600 people has found.
Only 65 per cent of respondents to the Gallup survey said they would get a vaccine if it were available today.
The Gallup poll, released on Friday, asked 7,632 respondents the following question: “If an FDA-approved vaccine to prevent coronavirus/COVID-19 was available right now at no cost, would you agree to be vaccinated?”
A total of 35 per cent said they would not, but a higher percentage of minorities, who have been shown to be disproportionately impacted by coronavirus, said they were opposed to taking a vaccine.
Of the non-white respondents, 59 per cent said they would get vaccinated but 41 per cent said they would not.
Across the United States, hispanic or latino people make up roughly 17.8 per cent of the population, while black people account for around 12.3 per cent.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), white people have accounted for 52.7 per cent of coronavirus deaths, hispanic or latinos 17.2 per cent, and black or African Americans 22.3 per cent.
On Friday, Dr. Anthony Fauci, the head of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease, said that the chances of scientists creating a highly-effective vaccine to combat COVID-19 are slim.
“The chances of it being 98 per cent effective are not great,” Fauci said at a Q&A with the Brown University School of Public Health in Rhode Island.
Fauci said scientists are hoping for a coronavirus vaccine that is at least 75 per cent effective, adding that 50 per cent or 60 per cent would be acceptable.
These figures, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases explained, “means you must never abandon the public health approach.”
Fauci added: “You’ve got to think of the vaccine as a tool to be able to get the pandemic to no longer be a pandemic, but to be something that’s well controlled.”
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has said it would authorize a coronavirus vaccine as long as it is safe and at least 50 per cent effective.
FDA Commissioner Dr Stephen Hahn said last month that the vaccine or vaccines that end up getting authorized will prove to be more than 50 per cent effective.
He added that it’s possible the US could end up with a vaccine that, on average, reduces a person’s risk of a COVID-19 infection by just 50 per cent.