As a number of states begin to reopen their economies, a clear majority of Americans believe they are moving too fast, according to a new Yahoo News/YouGov coronavirus poll. Even residents of the reopened states agree.
Yet while the survey shows broad, continuing support for lockdown orders and skepticism about whether the time has come to lift them, a surprisingly large number of Americans seem reluctant to take the one step scientists say could actually bring the devastating coronavirus pandemic to an end.
Asked whether they plan to get vaccinated against COVID-19 if and when a vaccine arrives, a majority of Americans (55 percent) say yes.
The rest — a significant minority — say they won’t get vaccinated (19 percent) or they’re not sure (26 percent).
If those results were to hold, tens or even hundreds of millions of unimmunized Americans could ultimately undermine any vaccine’s ability to stop the spread of the virus.
Given that other polls have shown 84 percent of Americans believe it’s either extremely or very important that parents vaccinate their children, it’s possible — even likely — that many holdouts will change their minds once a COVID-19 inoculation is shown to be safe and effective. Yet even that 84 percent number is down 10 points since 2001 due to a tenacious anti-vaccination movement that has made its presence felt at recent right-wing anti-lockdown protests, suggesting that efforts to sow doubts about an eventual COVID-19 vaccine might find a receptive audience.