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October 08, 2020

Poll Shows Americans ‘Afraid of Vaccine Side Effects’

A new nationwide online poll of 1,006 likely voters, conducted by John Zogby Strategies, finds a significant portion of the population has doubts about vaccines in general.

While a slight majority (51%) of American likely voters say they will take the COVID-19 vaccine when available, 36% say no, leaving 14% unsure. In other words, exactly half of the population are unwilling and hesitant about getting the COVID-19 vaccine.

When asked about reasons for not getting the vaccine, the most common answer (59%) is “afraid of vaccine side effects.”

A follow-up question asked respondents how safe they believe the COVID-19 vaccine would be when made available. While a slight majority (51%) believe it will be safe, 29% report unsafe, and 21% are not sure — keeping consistent with the divide over the question of taking the COVID-19 vaccine.

The most common answer among the nearly 3 in 10 Americans who believe the vaccine will be unsafe, cite “rushed/needs more testing” as a concern.

In other findings:

  • 31% of Americans believe that unvaccinated children are healthier than vaccinated children vs. 51% who believe the opposite.
  • 44% African-Americans and 39% Mothers of children under 17 years of age believe unvaccinated children are healthier than vaccinated children.
  • Over one-third of Americans (35%) believe there is a link between the recommended vaccine schedule and the high percentage of American children with chronic health conditions.
  • African Americans and parents of children under 17 years of age report higher numbers (43% and 44%, respectively) believing there is a correlation between the vaccine schedule and the high percentage of chronic health conditions found in American children

The survey was fielded Friday evening hours after the president checked himself into Walter Reed Medical Center. The margin of error is +/- 3.2 percentage points. Subgroups have a higher margin of error.”The growing skepticism about the COVID vaccine is the rational response of a public now paying more attention to how this sausage is getting made,” said Robert F. Kennedy Jr., chairman of Children’s Health Defense.

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