The United States recently gave emergency use authorisation to Pfizer-BionTech’s vaccine, the first Covid-19 vaccine to receive such authorisation. But will Americans be willing to take it — or any other vaccine so authorised?
In a new survey, more than half of adult American respondents said they would be unwilling. That is, if the vaccine in question has been approved under an emergency use authorisation. But if a vaccine was available after getting regular approval from the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA), most of the respondents would be willing to use it, or were at least neutral about it.
The study, ‘Willingness to Get the COVID-19 Vaccine with and without Emergency Use Authorization’, will be published in the American Journal of Infection Control, according to Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU). It is led by VCU professor Jeanine Guidry. 📣 Follow Express Explained on Telegram
The survey, of 788 American adults, found that 59.9% of respondents were definitely or probably planning to receive a future coronavirus vaccine, while 18.8% were neutral and 21.3% were probably or definitely not planning to get it. But if the vaccine was approved under an emergency use authorisation, only 46.9% of respondents said they were definitely, likely, or somewhat willing to take the vaccine, compared to 53.1% who said they were definitely, likely, or somewhat unwilling to do so.
In a statement on the research released by VCU, lead author Professor Guidry underlined the key takeaway: “The biggest issue coming out of this study is that participants seemed worried about receiving the COVID-19 vaccine under emergency use authorization.”
The study found that concerns about side effects were a significant barrier. Guidry said such concerns are not unusual, but “we now also know that two of the vaccines — Pfizer and Moderna — may have some expected side effects … [and that] may make people hesitate to get the vaccine”.
Among other findings, younger respondents were more likely than older respondents to express willingness to take the vaccine. White respondents were more likely than Black respondents to be willing to get the vaccine, either under emergency use authorisation or under regular approval by the FDA.
“That is something researchers have found in other previous vaccine studies as well, but it is more worrying with Covid-19 because we know that Black Americans are infected with COVID-19 significantly more frequently than white Americans, and they are also more likely to die from the virus,” Professor Guidry said.
Source: Virginia Commonwealth University
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