Shock: Just half to get coronavirus vaccine, rest cite safety, effectiveness, needles

Just half of the nation is planning to get the coronavirus vaccine, a surprising slap to the White House that has spent weeks urging the nation to get stuck.

Just 50% said that they would get the vaccine, with the others citing concerns about the safety and effectiveness of the choices being pushed by Washington and state capitals.

The data are in the latest edition of the COVID-era “Back-to-Normal Barometer” survey, a series of 18 polls charting the nation’s readiness to return to pre-virus normality.

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Of the half that is not eager for the vaccine, the survey shared with Secrets said that 12% were somewhat ready, 15% were somewhat not ready, and 23% strongly said they won’t get it.

“Getting half the country to take the vaccine will be the easy part. The hard part will be getting three-quarters or more to do so,” said Rich Thau, the president of Engagious, one of the three firms (along with the Sports and Leisure Research Group and ROKK Solutions) that conducted the survey.

The survey is a damning assessment of the federal government’s long campaign to get people psyched about receiving the vaccine. There have been many stories about minority groups and even nurses being wary of the two shots required.

The poll shows that despite photos of the president, Dr. Anthony Fauci, governors, and celebrities receiving the vaccine, there is a lot of work to be done to convince a majority of the country to get it.

The survey found that many believe the vaccine won’t be effective or isn’t safe, concerns that the government has been working to alleviate.

“Throughout the 18 waves of the barometer, we continue to see a real division of opinion across the population,” said Jon Last, the president of the Sports and Leisure Research Group and a former national president of the Insights Association. “Continuing hesitance regarding COVID vaccinations is just another illustration of the challenge we face in getting back to normal,” he said.

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Some of the concerns about the vaccine raised in the survey show that the government has failed to make a strong case. For example, 25% believe that the pandemic has been “blown out of proportion.” Another 13% believe that getting sick from the virus won’t be a “big deal.”

And 12% can’t be convinced to get it ever — they don’t like needles.

“While millions of Americans are getting the COVID-19 vaccine, much more work needs to be done to convince millions more that the vaccines will work and that they are medically safe,” said Ron Bonjean of ROKK Solutions.