Nearly half the respondents in a new survey in the United States have said they would definitely, or probably, not take a coronavirus vaccine if it were to become available today.
Pew Research Centre, which carried out the survey among over 10,000 US adults between September 8 and 13, said the percentage of people who were willing to take the medicine had come down sharply from 72 per cent in May, when it had last conducted a similar survey, to 51 per cent now.
Only 21 per cent of the respondents said they would definitely take the vaccine, if it were available now.
Public confidence in the coronavirus vaccines being developed has been low because of the speed with which the process is moving and apprehensions that it was being driven more by political considerations rather than by science.
Almost 77 per cent of the respondents in the Pew survey said they believed it was very, or somewhat, likely that a coronavirus vaccine would be approved in the United States before its safety or effectiveness was fully understood.
Because of such concerns, nine big pharmaceutical companies which are developing a vaccine for Covid19 disease, had earlier this month issued a statement promising to follow the rigorous methods of science in the pursuit of a vaccine. Last week, three of the leading developers — AstraZeneca, Pfizer and Moderna — also came out with detailed information on the clinical trials they were carrying out. Such information is usually not made public until the trials are completed and their results published.
Among those who, in the Pew survey, said they would be reluctant to take the vaccine, 76 per cent flagged concerns about potential side effects as the reason for their unwillingness, while 72 per cent said they would like to have more information about these vaccines.
About 31 per cent of these people said they did not think they needed a vaccine.
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Hunt for coronavirus vaccine: The story so far
- 187 vaccine candidates in pre-clinical or clinical trials
- 38 of them in clinical trials
- Nine in final stages, phase-III of human trials
- At least eight candidate vaccines being developed in India. Two of these have entered phase -II trials after completing phase-I.
The ones most talked about:
* AstraZeneca/Oxford University
* Johnson & Johnson
* Russian vaccine, developed by Gamaleya Insttiute in Moscow
* Three Chinese vaccines that have been approved for use in China without phase-3 trials being completed. One of them has been given emergency use authorisation in UAE
(As on September 25; source: WHO Coronavirus vaccine landscape of September 22, 2020)
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