More Americans are warming up to COVID-19 vaccines, with 19% saying they’ve already received at least one dose and 49% expressing intent to do so when they get the chance, according to new poll results.
Altogether, 69% of U.S. adults surveyed by the Pew Research Center now intend to become vaccinated. That’s up from 60% in November and 52% in September.
Still, 15% of respondents said they “definitely” wouldn’t get a COVID-19 vaccine and another 15% said they would “probably” pass up the shots.
Epidemiologists estimate that up to 85% of the country will need to be vaccinated in order to achieve herd immunity against the coronavirus. At that point, the virus will have difficulty finding new hosts to infect, and the outbreak will come to an end.
Nearly 29 million Americans have had coronavirus infections, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University. But experts at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention say even those who have recovered from an infection should get vaccinated because the protection is likely to be more long-lasting.
More than half of those surveyed — 58% — said that the emergence of new coronavirus variants has increased the urgency for Americans to get vaccinated. Strains from South Africa and Brazil were less susceptible to vaccines in clinical trials, and others — including one that emerged in California — have shown signs of vaccine resistance in laboratory tests. Health officials have also urged vaccination as a way to get ahead of more transmissible strains, such as the one from the United Kingdom.
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