More than eight in 10 Americans say they would receive the vaccine, with 40% saying they would take it as soon as it’s available to them and 44% saying they would wait a bit before getting it.
Only 15% said they would refuse the vaccine entirely in the new survey, which was conducted by Ipsos in partnership with ABC News using Ipsos’ Knowledge Panel — a reflection of growing confidence in the rapidly-developed vaccine, which marks a long-awaited turning point amid an unrelenting COVID-19 pandemic.
Late last week, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration authorized a COVID-19 vaccine, developed by Pfizer and BioNTech, for emergency use, facilitating the first batches of the vaccine to be distributed to millions of vulnerable frontline health care workers by Monday.
The decision by the agency to authorize is the first step towards safeguarding a country ravaged by the virus by immunizing enough Americans to halt the spread of the virus, which has killed nearly 300,000 and infected more than 16 million. More than two-thirds of Americans in the poll — 69% — say they or someone they know has been infected by the virus.
Among those who have been more closely hit by the pandemic, 45% said they would receive the vaccine now. Among those Americans who have not contracted the virus or do not know someone who has, only 30% say they would be willing to be inoculated immediately.
Nearly half of those surveyed believe students (48%) and the average American similar to themselves (44%) should be a medium priority, but the public is more split on elected officials, with 41% classifying them as a medium priority and 42% ranking them as a low priority. Only athletes, of the groups asked about, were deemed to be a low priority by a majority of Americans — 58%.MORE: Coronavirus live updates: 1st vaccines now on the way to all 50 states.