New survey data show only 15 percent of Americans believe a return to normal life is possible without a vaccine, a broad and bipartisan acceptance that policy makers should capitalize on.
The public opinion survey conducted by ScienceCounts, a non-profit whose mission is to promote public awareness and support for science, was conducted the week leading up to Thanksgiving attempting to understand the public’s feelings on the COVID-19 pandemic and willingness to vaccinate.
While an assumed narrative exists that an individual’s views on the seriousness of COVID-19, and necessity of a vaccine are bitterly partisan issues, the ScienceCounts survey indicates that conservatives, liberals, moderates, and notably black-nonhispanics alike view the pandemic as serious and will take the vaccine even if social distancing and other disease transmission preventatives are necessary for a time after vaccination.
Some key takeaways from the survey include:
•84 percent of survey respondents believe that a vaccine is the path to returning to normal with only 7 percent liberals / 16 percent moderates / 20 percent conservatives disagreeing.
•53 percent of survey respondents are likely to get vaccinated once a vaccine is available, one in five are undecided at this time with Black American’s making up the plurality of undecideds.
•Willingness to get vaccinated is unaffected by the possibility that mask wearing, and social distancing could remain necessary for the foreseeable future.
“We must recognize, contrary to political punditry, the majority of Americans are ready to do what is necessary to get COVID-19 under control,” said ScienceCounts Executive Director Chris Volpe. “While clear differences exist when you look at a person’s political philosophy, our data tell us that the clear majority of American understand the pandemic is serious and understand taking the vaccine is the best chance we have at returning to normalcy.
“Public health and public policy leaders should recognize this and develop a COVID vaccination response plan that is ready for the silent majority of Americans – including Black Americans – to be vaccinated,” he continued. “Our unique data tell us that American’s are ready, willing and able to be vaccinated at levels not fully appreciated.”