New poll: Americans choose politics over science when it comes to vaccine

While some eagerly wait for a COVID-19 vaccine, hoping it will be the solution to get life back to normal, new polling shows many Americans will forgo the vaccine once it’s available. While a vaccine isn’t expected until 2021, many companies are working tirelessly—with some entering the final phases of testing.

Unfortunately, political influence continues to drum up fear and conspiracy theories surrounding this vaccine. A NPR-PBS NewsHour-Marist survey of Americans reported 35 percent of respondents would not take the vaccine. Among those who are against a coronavirus vaccine, 44 percent who identify as Republican said they would not be vaccinated, compared to 25 percent of Democrats. These are similar results to another poll conducted by Gallup, where 35 percent of respondents also said they would not get the vaccine.

These data are a direct representation of the continued politicizing of the pandemic. While anti-vaccine propaganda isn’t new to the scene, the overarching resistance to a COVID-19 vaccine could continue to force individuals who are at high risk to place their lives on hold and live in isolation, and may even reduce the number of people who get the regular flu vaccine.

Vaccines are one of the greatest innovations for modern medicine. They have helped save lives, while eliminating dangerous diseases like polio, measles and mumps. Yet, even after COVID-19 has taken countless lives, caused economic instability and forced people all around the globe to live abnormally, individuals still allow politics to cloud their judgment.