Americans split on whether or not to get COVID-19 vaccine, Utahns more likely

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SALT LAKE COUNTY, Utah. (ABC4 News) — Americans are back and forth on whether or not they will get the COVID-19 vaccine, once it’s available. 

Dr. Tamara Sheffield with Intermountain Healthcare said there are plenty of reasons for that.

Research shows 72 percent of Utahns are very likely or somewhat likely to get the vaccine. 

Sheffield said most of it comes down to the vaccine effectiveness and the speed at which it was made.

“Yeah, I am willing to take it,” said Eric Martinez. 

“Yes, because vaccines work,” said 79-year-old John Prince.

“If it’s approved by the FDA, absolutely,” said Aileen Norris.

ABC4 spoke with Utahns on Monday who unanimously said they will get the COVID-19 vaccine once it’s available, however, data about the general public’s likeliness to do so looks a little different.

Pew Research Center and Gallup showed 72 percent of Americans were likely to get the COVID-19 vaccine in May if it was available, but that dropped down to 51 percent in September and then climbed to 58 percent in November.

“What really drove this thing down early in the summer was all of this language and ideas about doing things so fast and people are saying if you are doing it too fast you are not doing it carefully,” said Intermountain Healthcare’s Dr. Tamara Sheffield.

After October, the data came back very positive. Most vaccines claim to be more than 90 percent effective. 

“I think this one is even safer because it’s not putting a living virus in you,” said John Prince. “It is just going after that attachment part. It is just amazing to me.”

Dr. Sheffield said she expects more Utahns than the data suggests to get the COVID-19 vaccine.

“If the data coming through is as promising as the early data has been in terms of great safety, great efficacy people are going to want the freedom of knowing they are immune from the disease and are going to coming in to get this vaccine,” sais Sheffield. 

The vaccine has Utahns hopeful and ready to roll up their sleeves.

“As soon as the FDA says its approved, I’ll take it,” said Prince.

“Seems like it is for the good of the country as well if you get inoculated and it is effective,” said Sam Lincoln. 

“We have the potential to really stop this pandemic and save lives and I think that is a huge thing for us,” said Norris. 

FDA approval should be coming soon. Gov. Herbert has said he expects the vaccine to be in Utah in the middle to late December.

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