Nearly one in four New Yorkers say they probably wouldn’t take a COVID-19 vaccine — which could be bad news for achieving crucial herd immunity amid the pandemic.
More than 800 voters were surveyed last week — as several drugmakers announced they had developed vaccines with astonishing 90 percent-plus effective rates, according to pollster Siena College Research Institute and the Wall Street Journal on Tuesday.
Twenty-four percent of those surveyed said they either definitely would not or probably wouldn’t take a vaccine if available, the research showed.
Another 35 percent of the state residents questioned said they absolutely would be immunized, while 34 percent said they probably would take the vaccine, the poll said.
Those likely to take the vaccine comprised all sorts of groups “regardless of party, region, race, age, religion, gender or even who they supported in the presidential election,’’ Siena spokesman Steven Greenberg told WSJ.
The country’s top infectious-disease expert, Dr. Anthony Fauci, said Sunday that the US could reach herd immunity — meaning enough people would be immune to the disease that the likelihood of its spread would drop drastically — “reasonably quickly” if enough of the population is vaccinated.
“What we do need is we need to get as many people as possible vaccinated,” Fauci said on CBS TV’s “Face the Nation.”
“If you get an overwhelming majority of the people vaccinated with a highly efficacious vaccine, we can reasonably quickly get to the herd immunity that would be a blanket of protection for the country.”
Fauci said people should rest assured that the US Food and Drug Administration — which is working to grant emergency approval to promising vaccines that have passed their late-stage trials — won’t approve anything that is not safe.
An FDA-approved vaccine could come as early as mid-December, Fauci and other government officials have said, although likely only administered first to healthcare workers and vulnerable populations.
A vaccine for the general population would not likely be available until spring, officials have said.