Acceptance of the COVID-19 vaccine continues to rise, according to a new study in the US TODAY / Suffolk University, but there is also growing pessimism about when things will return to normal in the US.
Both results could be signs that President-elect Joe Biden’s messages are being heard. He himself took the vaccine in front of a camera – something President Donald Trump did not do – and warned that the pandemic would get worse before it got better.
Now 56% of respondents say they will receive the vaccine as soon as it is available to them, a jump of 1
“The more people get vaccinated and see that it’s safe … then more people are willing to go get it,” said Shelley Belapurkar, a 50-year-old nurse from Nashua, New Hampshire, who was among the respondents. She got the vaccine herself and volunteered at the clinic every week to give it to others.
“It’s all about education and I don’t think we’ve trained our population almost enough about the dangers of the coronavirus,” she said in an interview.
Most of the shift comes from those who are reluctant to receive the vaccine until others take it first. Those who expressed this opinion amounted to 47% in October, 32% in December and only 22% now.
“When the vaccine was first announced, I was a little hesitant,” said Sandy Bethune, a 71-year-old retired AT&T training manager in Oakland, California. “I would never get it, but I wanted to wait a while and let some other people be guinea pigs.” Now, she said, “if I can take it, I take it.”
But those who say they will not receive the vaccine have barely backed down, now down to 18 percent from 20 percent in October and December.
“There are so many things in it that aren’t good for our bodies,” said Brooklyn Parker, a 28-year-old beautician from Watertown, New York, who said she would never get shot. “For me, natural immunization is the better way to get to COVID, something like the flu.” As proof, she noted that she had never received the flu vaccine, but had caught the flu only twice.
Independent investigators report that COVID-19 is far more deadly than the flu, and relying on “herd immunity” without the vaccine would kill millions of Americans.
USA TODAY / Suffolk Poll: Americans prepared for violence in office see democracy damaged after Trump
The survey of 1,000 registered voters, conducted via landlines and mobile phones from January 11 to 15, has an error of plus or minus 3.1 percentage points.
Optimism about when things in the United States will return to normal has waned.
In December, a 51% majority predicted that things would return to normal by the end of this year. Now only 44% feel this way, down by 7 points. The share, which says it will take several years, has increased by 4 points, to 31%.
One in five or 20% when asked when the nation will return to normal said “never”.
COVID coating :: Blood on hands: As US approaches 400,000 COVID-19 deaths, experts blame Trump administration for “preventable” loss of life
Where does COVID-19 come from?
Former Florida scientist Rebecca Jones “surrendered” to face new charges
This article originally appeared in the US TODAY: Survey: Increases vaccine intake against COVID; pessimism too