Karen Freedman is not nervous about taking the coronavirus vaccine, but she says she’s looking forward to it.
But not all Americans are quite ready to roll up their sleeves on day two of the roll-out of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine across the United States, part of the initial 2.9 million doses distributed across the world.
Shaun Artis, 44, Freedman’s fiance, says he does not plan to take a vaccine, joining a large number of Americans who are dubious about safety.
I’m not very familiar with the vaccine, I’m not a doctor, I’m not a scientist, I just know, I don’t trust it,” says Artis.”
Some 60 percent of Americans state that they plan to take a COVID-19 vaccine, according to a Pew Research Center survey released earlier this month.
Although this figure is up from 51 percent back in September, pollsters claim that some doubts remain among the American public about the possible side effects of a vaccine, given the unparalleled pace at which it was created, and many Americans are wary of being among the first to be inoculated.
Alec Tyson, Pew Research Center’s Associate Director of Research, says his research has shown that the intent to take a vaccine is related to confidence in the research and development process to produce a safe and efficient vaccine.
Tyson told Al Jazeera, “Even among people who say they’re not currently planning to get the vaccine, about half of those people say that when others begin to get it and there’s more information about it, they say it’s possible that they’re going to take it.”
21 percent of Americans claim they are “pretty certain” that they will not take a vaccine, according to the study, even though more detail is available.
But US top infectious disease physician Anthony Fauci says that 75-80 percent of the population will need to be vaccinated in order to avoid the spread of the disease or achieve so-called herd immunity, a task that will prove as logistical for a nation of 330 million people as it is a fight to instill public faith in vaccines.