Only One-Fifth of Voters Say They Would Get a Free Coronavirus Vaccine ‘as Soon as Possible’

Jennifer Haller, left, confers with a pharmacist after she was given the first shot in the first-stage safety study clinical trial of a potential vaccine for the coronavirus by a pharmacist, Monday, March 16, 2020, at the Kaiser Permanente Washington Health Research Institute in Seattle. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)
AP Photo/Ted S. Warren

Only one out of five voters said they would get a free coronavirus vaccine “as soon as possible” if one became available, the majority indicating they would “consider it” but ultimately wait it out.

A CBS News poll found that the majority of voters would wait to get a vaccine for the Chinese coronavirus. Fifty-eight percent said they would “consider it” but ultimately “wait to see what happens,” whereas 21 percent said they would get one “as soon as possible,” representing an 11-point drop from the 32 percent who said the same in July.

Another 21 percent said they would “never get one,” a four-point increase from the 17 percent who said they would “never get one” in July.

Notably, a majority of Democrats, 63 percent, also indicated that they would wait it out, compared to the 25 percent who said they would get the vaccine immediately. That could have something to do with general trust in President Trump, as 47 percent of voters expressed trust in Joe Biden (D) to “make sure a safe vaccine is available,” compared to 34 percent who said the same of Trump.

The survey found also voters growing increasingly skeptical of the development of an effective and safe vaccine. Sixty-five percent of voters indicated that they would initially view a vaccine offered this year as “rushed through” compared to the 35 percent who said they would initially think of it as a “scientific achievement.”

Nonetheless, a majority of voters — across all party lines — believe the next president should “publicly take the vaccine to help show the public it is safe.”

Sixty-five percent of Republicans, 84 percent of Democrats, and 76 percent of independents expressed that view.

Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA), Biden’s running mate, has cast doubt on a vaccination developed under Trump’s leadership, telling CNN’s State of the Union she will “not take his word for it.”

“I will say that I would not trust Donald Trump and it would have to be a credible source of information that talks about the efficacy and the reliability of whatever he’s talking about,” she said.

Trump, meanwhile, has expressed intense optimism regarding vaccine development, assuring the public they will remain “on track to deliver a vaccine before the end of the year, and maybe even before November 1.”

“We think we can probably have it sometime during the month of October,” Trump said on Friday.

“Through Operation Warp Speed, we have three vaccines in the final stage of clinical trials,” he added.

YouGov conducted the survey among 2,493 registered voters September 2-4. The margin of error is +/- 2.4 percent.

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