HealthDay News — In a sign that Americans are becoming more wary about the safety of a COVID-19 vaccine, a new poll shows a majority of adults do not trust what President Donald Trump has said on vaccine development.
More than half (52 percent) of adults said they do not trust the president’s vaccine comments, the NBC News/SurveyMonkey poll showed, while just 26 percent said they do. Twenty percent said they were “not aware” whether they trust what the president has said about a vaccine.
Those polled were also more skeptical about whether they or their families would get a government-approved COVID-19 vaccine if one became widely available, NBC News reported. The poll’s latest data show that just 39 percent said they would get it, 23 percent said they would not, and 36 percent said they were not sure. Just a month ago, 44 percent of Americans said they would get a government-approved vaccine, 22 percent said they would not, and 32 percent said they were not sure. The highest level of confidence in a COVID-19 vaccine came during the week of Aug. 17 to Aug. 23, when 45 percent polled said they would get a vaccine.
Despite public hesitancy, President Trump has promised a “safe and effective vaccine this year,” and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has advised states to prepare for “large-scale” vaccine distribution by Nov. 1. Public health experts have questioned that aggressive timeline. Anthony Fauci, M.D., the nation’s leading infectious diseases expert, has said that he feels “cautiously optimistic” that a safe and effective vaccine would be found by the end of the year, but that doing so by Nov. 3 was “unlikely,” NBC News reported.