Poll: Most Adults Wary of Taking Any Vaccine Approved Before the Election

September 11, 2020by Jordan Rau, Kaiser Health News (TNS)
Flanked by White House coronavirus response coordinator Dr. Deborah Birx (left) and Dr. Anthony Fauci (right), director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, U.S. President Donald Trump delivers remarks about coronavirus vaccine development in the Rose Garden of the White House on May 15, 2020 in Washington, D.C. (Drew Angerer/Getty Images/TNS)

The public is deeply skeptical about any coronavirus vaccine approved before the November election, and only 42% would be willing to get a vaccine in that scenario, according to a new poll.

The results of the poll by the Kaiser Family Foundation reveal widespread concern that the Trump administration will bring pressure on drug regulators to approve a vaccine before the election without ensuring it is safe and effective. (Kaiser Health News is an editorially independent program of KFF.)

Six in 10 adults said they were worried the Food and Drug Administration will rush to allow a vaccine because of political pressure. The concern is held by 85% of Democrats, 35% of Republicans and 61% of independent voters.

Resistance to taking the vaccine is strong among respondents of all stripes, with 60% of Republicans saying they would not want to be inoculated if a vaccine were available before the Nov. 3 election. Among Democrats, 46% would decline the vaccine.

The wariness may reflect the ongoing political jockeying over a vaccine, and it may also be influenced by strains of general anti-vaccine sentiment in the populace. The Trump administration has suggested a vaccine could be ready by November, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has instructed states to be prepared to distribute a vaccine by Nov. 1.

Democrats have raised fears that President Donald Trump is trying to accelerate vaccine approval to boost his reelection chances. Forty-three percent of the public approves of Trump’s handling of the pandemic — an improvement since July, when just a third liked his response.

Partisans are largely united in doubting that a vaccine will be available before the presidential election, with 81% expecting it will take longer. The poll found the public divided on whether the worst of the pandemic is over or still to come, although optimism has increased since July. Nearly 1 in 5 Americans said the virus, which has stricken more than 6 million and killed more than 190,000 people in the U.S., is not a major problem and won’t become one.

Trust in the government’s health experts and institutions has become highly partisan, the poll found. Dr. Anthony Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, and the CDC have the widest level of trust, with more than two-thirds of Americans believing they are providing reliable information. But the credibility of both has decreased since April.

Only 48% of Republicans trust Fauci, while 70% trust Dr. Deborah Birx, the response coordinator for the White House Coronavirus Task Force, who has remained in Trump’s good graces more than has Fauci. Conversely, 86% of Democrats have confidence in Fauci while only 44% trust Birx.

Democrats still trust the CDC more than Republicans do, but more than half of Democrats say the CDC and the FDA pay too much attention to politics. Overall, only 43% of the public says the two agencies pay the appropriate amount of attention to science.

The poll also found that intense hostility to the Affordable Care Act among Republicans has decreased substantially since the 2018 midterm elections. Only 5% of Republicans in September identified repealing the ACA as the most important health issue influencing their vote, down from 18% in October 2018.

The survey found nearly half of the public holds at least one misconception about coronavirus treatment. Twenty percent said that a face mask is dangerous to wear, and 24% said hydroxychloroquine, a drug touted by Trump but not yet validated by rigorous studies, is an effective treatment for COVID-19. Just more than half of Republicans believe in hydroxychloroquine and a third say face masks are ineffective.

Fourteen percent of Americans believe there is already a cure for the coronavirus.

The telephone poll was conducted Aug. 28-Sept. 3 among a nationally representative random sample of 1,199 adults. The margin of sampling error is plus or minus 3 percentage points.

———

Kaiser Health News (KHN) is a national health policy news service. It is an editorially independent program of the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation.

———

©2020 Kaiser Health News

Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

Opinion Polls

New Survey Shows Low Trump Job Approval, Weak National Confidence
Opinion Polls
New Survey Shows Low Trump Job Approval, Weak National Confidence
October 22, 2020
by Sara Wilkerson

Gallup has released a new survey showing President Trump’s job approval rating at 43.3%, marking one of the lowest approval ratings for an incumbent during his 15th quarter in office. The Gallup poll comes ahead of the last presidential debate this week before the 2020 election... Read More

Poll: Biden Draws Even With Trump in Texas; Hegar Closing in on Cornyn in Senate Race
Opinion Polls
Poll: Biden Draws Even With Trump in Texas; Hegar Closing in on Cornyn in Senate Race

AUSTIN, Texas — Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden has drawn even in Texas with President Donald Trump, and Democrat MJ Hegar is closing in on U.S. Sen. John Cornyn in the Quinnipiac University poll of likely Texas voters released Wednesday afternoon. "Biden and Trump find themselves in a Texas standoff, setting the stage for a bare-knuckle battle for 38 electoral votes," said... Read More

Trump Hasn’t Recovered From Tailspin Set Off by Raucous Debate Performance, Poll Shows
Opinion Polls
Trump Hasn’t Recovered From Tailspin Set Off by Raucous Debate Performance, Poll Shows

WASHINGTON — With three weeks left until election day, President Donald Trump has not recovered from the self-inflicted wounds of his first debate with Joe Biden and, instead, has sunk further behind his challenger, a new USC Dornsife poll shows. The latest data show the unusual... Read More

Democrats Aim for Senate Majority; the Polling Looks Favorable
Opinion Polls
Democrats Aim for Senate Majority; the Polling Looks Favorable

WASHINGTON — As Republicans inch closer to confirming Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court, and Joe Biden enjoys a national lead over Donald Trump in the presidential race, there’s also an intense battle going on for control of Congress. The 2016 election delivered Republicans the... Read More

Survey: 80% of Small Businesses Want Economic Relief Prioritized Over SCOTUS Nomination
Opinion Polls
Survey: 80% of Small Businesses Want Economic Relief Prioritized Over SCOTUS Nomination
October 13, 2020
by Reece Nations

WASHINGTON – A national survey by the Small Business for America’s Future coalition found that roughly 8 in ten respondents identified something other than the Supreme Court nomination when asked about Congressional priorities. The survey, conducted from Oct. 2 through Oct. 5, took input from 1,511... Read More

Biden Moves Ahead of Trump in Poll of Miami-Dade’s Hispanic Voters
Political News
Biden Moves Ahead of Trump in Poll of Miami-Dade’s Hispanic Voters

MIAMI — Cuban-American voters continue to favor President Donald Trump over Joe Biden in Miami-Dade County, but more are moving toward the Democratic nominee, boosting Biden’s chances of winning battleground Florida, according to a poll by Bendixen & Amandi International and the Miami Herald. Conducted Oct.... Read More

News From The Well
scroll top