SALT LAKE CITY – When a vaccine for COVID-19 becomes available, will you get it? A new poll from the Deseret News and the Hinckley Institute of Politics shows almost a quarter of Utahns would decline the vaccine, while another quarter isn’t so sure.
Unsure about the COVID-19 vaccine
Melanie Hill from Lehi is one of the 23% of participants who answered. She says she isn’t sure her family would get the vaccine when it becomes available, and several factors contribute to her uncertainty.
Hill tells KSL she has auto-immune issues, which already causes her body to have nasty reactions to flu vaccines. However, even if she didn’t have those health concerns, she still doesn’t know if she would get a COVID-19 vaccine right away.
“I grew up always getting a flu shot. I got flu shots for years. It’s not so much that I’m morally against vaccines or anything like that,” Hill explained. “But just because it is new, I would still be pretty unsure.”
Plus, she has another reason to doubt the vaccine.
“With how politicized the whole pandemic has become, it’s hard for me to trust anything at this point,” Hill said.
No COVID-19 vaccine
Another 24% answered they wouldn’t get vaccinated. The Deseret News reports some people just don’t trust a virus when it’s this new. Others say the process feels rushed.
One BYU professor says people are generally afraid of new things, and that many are already “riding the wave of anti-vaccine sentiment.” However, given more time, more people are expected to come around and consider getting the vaccine.
A BYU poll shows 68% of Americans would get the vaccine in the next 30 days, while 73% would get it within six months.
Salt Lake County Health Department Executive Director, Gary Edwards, states he is constantly speaking with officials at the CDC to track the progress of the vaccine.
The drugmaker AstraZeneca had to halt its study after one of their test subjects reportedly had a serious illness, but that trial has since resumed.
However, Edwards says the fact that some vaccines are in the third phase of testing is a promising sign.
“They’ve proven to be somewhat safe and somewhat effective going into phase three,” said Edwards.
Even after the vaccine is given to the public, the study into its effectiveness will still continue.
“We probably still won’t know the effectiveness until, maybe, next summer, after we go through with a number of people that have been vaccinated,” Edwards said.
The Deseret News reports between 40 and 45% of Utahns receive a flu shot each year, and the Utah Department of Health is hoping to see it reach 60% in 2020.
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