NEW YORK – About 1 in 3 Americans say they definitely or probably won't get the COVID-19 vaccine, according to a new poll that some experts say is discouraging news if the U.S. hopes to achieve herd immunity and vanquish the outbreak.
The poll from The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research found that while 67% of Americans plan to get vaccinated or have already done so, 15% are certain they won't and 17% say probably not. Many expressed doubts about the vaccine's safety and effectiveness.
Resistance was found to run higher among younger people, people without college degrees, Blacks and Republicans.
Dr. Anthony Fauci, the government's leading infectious-disease scientist, has estimated that between 70% and 85% of the U.S. population needs to get inoculated to stop the scourge that has killed close to 470,000 Americans. More recently, he said the spread of more contagious variants of the virus increases the need for more people to get their shots – and quickly.
So is 67% of Americans enough?
“No. No, no, no, no,” said William Hanage, a Harvard University expert on disease dynamics. He added: “You're going to need to get quite large proportions of the population vaccinated before you see a real effect.”
About 33.8 million Americans, or 10% of the population, have received at least one dose, and 10.5 million have been fully vaccinated, according to the CDC.
The poll of 1,055 adults, taken Jan. 28 through Feb. 1, provides insight.
Of those who said they definitely will not get the vaccine, 65% cited worries about side effects, despite the shots' safety record over the past months. About the same percentage said they don't trust COVID-19 vaccines.
And 38% said they don't believe they need a vaccine, with a similar share saying that they don't know if a COVID-19 vaccine will work and that they don't trust the government.
CDC study finds two masks are better than one vs. COVID-19
U.S. government researchers found that two masks are better than one in slowing coronavirus spread, but health officials stopped short of recommending that everyone double up.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Wednesday reported the results of a lab experiment that spaced two artificial heads 6 feet from each other and checked to see how many coronavirus-sized particles spewed by one were inhaled by the other.
The researchers found that wearing one mask – surgical or cloth – blocked around 40% of the particles coming toward the head that was breathing in. When a cloth mask was worn on top of a surgical mask, about 80% were blocked.
When both the exhaling and inhaling heads were double-masked, more than 95% of the particles were blocked, said the CDC's Dr. John Brooks.
Still, for now, health authorities acknowledge they have their hands full just trying to get more people to wear one mask and wear it correctly.