Half of Americans would take vaccine, poll shows
A survey from The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research shows about a quarter of US adults aren’t sure if they want to get vaccinated against the coronavirus. Roughly another quarter say they won’t.
Many on the fence have safety concerns and want to watch how the initial rollout fares — skepticism that could hinder the campaign against the scourge that has killed nearly 290,000 Americans. Experts estimate at least 70% of the US population needs to be vaccinated to achieve herd immunity, or the point at which enough people are protected that the virus can be held in check.
Early data suggests the two US frontrunners – one vaccine made by Pfizer and BioNTech and another by Moderna and the National Institutes of Health – offer strong protection. The Food and Drug Administration is poring over study results to be sure the shots are safe before deciding in the coming days whether to allow mass vaccinations, as Britain began doing with Pfizer’s shots on Tuesday.
Despite the hopeful news, feelings haven’t changed much from an AP-NORC poll in May, before it was clear a vaccine would pan out.
In the survey of 1,117 American adults conducted 3-7 December, about 3 in 10 said they are very or extremely confident that the first available vaccines will have been properly tested for safety and effectiveness. About an equal number said they are not confident. The rest fell somewhere in the middle.
Among those who don’t want to get vaccinated, about 3 in 10 said they aren’t concerned about getting seriously ill from the coronavirus, and around a quarter said the outbreak isn’t as serious as some people say.
About 7 in 10 of those who said they won’t get vaccinated are concerned about side effects. Pfizer and Moderna say testing has uncovered no serious ones so far. As with many vaccines, recipients may experience fever, fatigue or sore arms from the injection, signs the immune system is revving up.
Hello and welcome to today’s live global coverage of the coronavirus pandemic.
My name is Helen Sullivan and I’ll be bringing you the latest from around the world for the next few hours.
In the US, a survey from The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research shows about a quarter of US adults aren’t sure if they want to get vaccinated against the coronavirus. Roughly another quarter say they won’t.
Meanwhile, South Africa has entered a second wave of the pandemic, the health minister declared Wednesday.
“As it stands as a country we now meet that criteria,” Zweli Mkhize said in a statement, as the country registered nearly 7,000 new cases in the last 24-hour cycle.
The country now counts 828,598 infections after 6,709 new cases were detected between Tuesday and Wednesday
- Brazil reports highest daily cases since mid-August. Brazil reported 53,453 additional confirmed cases of the coronavirus in the past 24 hours, the highest daily rate since mid-August, and 836 deaths from Covid-19, the health ministry said on Wednesday. The country has now registered 6,728,452 cases since the pandemic began, while the official death toll has risen to 178,995, according to ministry data, in the world’s third worst outbreak outside the United States and India.
- German biotech firm BioNTech said that regulation documents related to the Covid-19 vaccine it is developing with Pfizer had been “unlawfully accessed” after a cyberattack on Europe’s medicines regulator. Earlier, the European Medicines Agency (EMA), which is responsible for assessing and approving medicines, medical devices and vaccines for the European Union, said it had been targeted in a cyberattack. It gave no further details.
- Marty Wilde is to become one of the first celebrities to get the Covid-19 vaccination. The 1950s pop star, best known for his hit Teenager in Love, will be given the jab on Thursday. Vaccinations began being administered at 70 hospital hubs across the UK from Tuesday – starting with healthcare workers, people living in care homes and the elderly.
- Spain’s rate of confirmed coronavirus cases reach lowest level since August. Spain’s rate of confirmed coronavirus cases fell to 193 cases per 100,000 people on Wednesday to reach the lowest level recorded since August, health ministry data showed, Reuters reports. The ministry reported 9,773 infections since Monday, bringing the total up to just over 1.7 million, while the number of deaths increased by 373 to 47,019.
- Slovakia ordered schools and most shops closed for at least three weeks from 21st December. The central European country also ordered outside seating at restaurants to end from Dec. 11, only allowing take-away as the number of COVID-19 cases continued to rise.
- The creators of the Sputnik V vaccine have denied that Russians must quit drinking for nearly two months while receiving the jabs. Scientists attempted to head off a public row over whether millions would have to go teetotal to join the country’s mass vaccination programme. Following a day of heated deliberations, the head of the Gamaleya research centre that developed Sputnik V said that patients should avoid drinking for just six days.
- England’s chief medical officer has warned of a “disastrous” resurgence in coronavirus cases if people stop adhering to social distancing guidelines now that the mass vaccination programme has begun. Prof Chris Whitty told MPs that the winter months were high risk for the NHS, particularly because of respiratory infections. He stressed the importance of immunising an estimated 20 million people made a priority for a jab before any substantial easing of restrictions.
- Canada becomes third country to approve Covid-19 vaccine. Canada on Wednesday approved its first Covid-19 vaccine, clearing the way for doses of the Pfizer Inc and BioNTech SE shots to be delivered and administered across the country, Reuters reports. Canada is the third country after the United Kingdom and Bahrain to give the green light to the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine.
- Study suggests Covid-19 circulating in Italy in late November 2019.Covid-19 was circulating in Italy in late November 2019, three months before the first local transmission was detected, a new study has shown.Analysis was carried out on a swab taken from a four-year-old child, who had respiratory problems and was vomiting, on 30 November 2019. He developed a rash the next day and the illness was mistaken for measles.
- Furious Merkel says German death rate ‘unacceptable’. The German chancellor, Angela Merkel, said the country’s residents could be proud of what they had achieved and there was now “light at the end of the tunnel”. She said a creative, inquisitive spirit had brought about a number of vaccines – “the best scientists in the world”, she said, “have shown us the qualities that people really have in them”.