Less than half of Americans say they’ll get a coronavirus vaccine

WASHINGTON — Less than half of American adults say they would get a government-approved coronavirus vaccine if one becomes widely available, new data from the NBC News|SurveyMonkey Weekly Tracking Poll show, with the majority unsure about getting the vaccine or saying they’re ruling it out entirely.

Forty-four percent of American adults say they would get the vaccine, with 22 percent saying they wouldn’t and 32 percent saying they aren’t sure.

The differences in opinion are stark among demographic groups — a majority of Democrats, seniors, Asians, those making at least $100,000 and those with college degrees all say they would get a vaccine if it’s approved by the government.

In every other demographic group polled, a majority say either that they aren’t sure whether they would get an approved vaccine or that they wouldn’t.

Among those making under $50,000, 37 percent say they would get a vaccine, 26 percent say they wouldn’t and 35 percent say they aren’t sure.

But increases in income correlate with respondents’ level of comfort with the vaccine. Forty-five percent of those making $50,000 to $99,999 say they would get an approved vaccine, 22 percent say they wouldn’t and 32 percent say they’re unsure.

And for those making $100,000 or above, 55 percent say they would get the vaccine, 18 percent say they wouldn’t and 26 percent say they aren’t sure.

There’s also a significant partisan divide among Democrats, Republicans and independents.

Among Republicans and those who lean Republican, 31 percent say they aren’t sure whether they would get a vaccine, while 36 percent say they would and 33 percent say they wouldn’t. While a majority of Democrats and those who lean Democratic — 58 percent — say they would get a vaccine, 30 percent say they’re unsure and just 12 percent say they wouldn’t get vaccinated.

Independents align more closely with the Republican groups. Thirty-seven percent say they and their families would get vaccinated, 25 percent say they wouldn’t and 38 percent say they aren’t sure.

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Another key indicator is race. Asian Americans are the only racial group in which a majority of adults express comfort with getting vaccinated. Fifty-nine percent of Asian American adults say they would get a government-approved vaccine, while only 8 percent say they wouldn’t. Another 27 percent say they’re unsure.

Forty-eight percent of white adults say they would get vaccinated, while 22 percent say they wouldn’t and 29 percent say they’re unsure. Hispanic American adults had similar answers: Forty percent say they and their families would get the vaccine, 22 percent say they wouldn’t and 35 percent say they’re not sure whether they would.

But just 24 percent of Black adults say they would get a government-approved vaccine for themselves and their families, while 31 percent say they wouldn’t and 42 percent say they’re unsure.

The new data also show that the more formal education people have, the more likely they are to get a vaccine.

Among adults who have at least graduated from college or have graduated from college with further education, 56 percent say they would get a vaccine, while just 16 percent say they wouldn’t. When those who have completed postgraduate degrees were asked, 68 percent say they would get vaccinated and just 9 percent say they and their families wouldn’t.

The numbers dramatically decline when the question is asked of adults who received high school degrees or less and those who completed only some college. Thirty-six percent of adults who completed high school or less say they would get vaccinated, while 27 percent say they wouldn’t and 34 percent say they aren’t sure. Thirty-eight percent of those with “some college” education say they would get vaccinated, 26 percent say they wouldn’t and 35 percent say they’re unsure.

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As far as views on the coronavirus pandemic more broadly, 69 percent of adults say they are worried that they or a family member will be exposed to the virus, 53 percent say it is more of a health crisis than an economic crisis, and 70 percent say they wear masks every time they leave the house and might come in contact with other people, with another 16 percent saying they do so most of the time and 10 percent saying they do so some of the time.

In the NBC|SurveyMonkey Weekly Tracking Poll, President Donald Trump’s approval has remained mainly constant. Forty-five percent of adults say they either strongly or somewhat approve of his job performance, while 53 percent of adults either somewhat or strongly disapprove. A month ago, the data showed that 43 percent of adults approved of his job performance, while 55 percent disapproved.

Forty-four percent approve of his handling of the federal coronavirus response, and 53 percent disapprove. A month ago, 43 percent approved, and 55 percent disapproved.

The data come from a set of SurveyMonkey online polls conducted Aug. 10-16, 2020, among a national sample of 34,269 adults in the U.S. Respondents were selected from the more than 2 million people who take surveys on the SurveyMonkey platform each day. The modeled error estimate for this survey is plus or minus 1.0 percentage points. Data have been weighted for age, race, sex, education and geography using the Census Bureau’s American Community Survey to reflect the demographic composition of the United States ages 18 and over.

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