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Data: Axios/Ipsos surveys. 1,100 U.S adults surveyed Aug. 28-31, 2020, and 1,008 U.S. adults surveyed Sept. 18-21,2020; Chart: Axios Visuals

The share of Americans eager to try a first-generation coronavirus vaccine dropped significantly in the latest installment of the Axios-Ipsos Coronavirus Index, as President Trump hyped suggestions that one could be ready before the election.

Why it matters: As the U.S. reaches a milestone of 200,000 deaths, this underscores the risks of politicizing the virus and its treatments.

  • The trend is taking place among Republicans as well as Democrats.
  • It's another warning of the potential difficulties health authorities will face in convincing enough Americans that a vaccine is safe and effective.

The big picture: Americans don't see the vaccine as a silver bullet right now. Many respondents in Week 25 of our national survey feel it's risky and at least want to wait to see how others do. And only half are prepared to pay out of pocket for it.

  • Just 13% say they'd be willing to try it immediately.
  • This all comes against the backdrop of an uncertain return-to-school experiment. One in three parents of schoolchildren says there already have been virus-related scares or outbreaks in their school district.

By the numbers: Six in 10 Americans now say they don't want to take a COVID-19 vaccine as soon as it's available, up from 53% at the end of August.

  • Their reluctance also intensified. Only 9% now say they're "very likely" to take the first-generation vaccine, down from 17% in August; 33% say they're "not at all likely" to take it, up from 26%.
  • A plurality of respondents — 30% — said they plan to get it a few months after the vaccine first becomes available
  • 13% would try to get it immediately; 16% would get it after a few weeks, 18% said they'd likely wait a year or more and 23% said they wouldn't get it at all.
  • Men remain more likely than women to take the first generation vaccine, while Black Americans are about half as likely as Hispanics or whites to take it.

Between the lines: 38% of respondents expect their health insurance to pay for them to get the vaccine if they decide to get one; 11% think the federal government will cover costs; and only 4% think they'll have to pick up the tab themselves.

  • The biggest share expect to get it from their doctor (38%), followed by a pharmacy (17%), their employer (6%) or a drive-thru (5%).

What they're saying: Cliff Young, president of Ipsos U.S. Public Affairs, says growing concerns around the vaccine reflect a combination of scientists urging patience and the "political ping-pong" of President Trump's messaging and Democrats' pushback.

  • Democrats showed the biggest drop in those saying they're likely to try the vaccine as soon as it's available, down 13 percentage points to 43%. Republicans dropped eight points, to 41%.
  • Meanwhile, independents fell just two points, to 43%. That suggests they aren't as tuned in to partisan bickering or political news.
  • "These cues, whether red or blue, immediately elicit negative emotion from the other side," Young said — creating "a negative sort of sheen" over the idea of a vaccine that's distinct from the actual science.

Methodology: This Axios/Ipsos Poll was conducted Sept. 18–21 by Ipsos’ KnowledgePanel®. This poll is based on a nationally representative probability sample of 1,008 general population adults age 18 or older.

  • The margin of sampling error is ± 3.2 percentage points at the 95% confidence level.

Go deeper

Updated 19 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. Vaccines: Key information about the effective COVID-19 vaccines — Oxford and AstraZeneca's vaccine won't just go to rich countries.
  2. Health: U.S. coronavirus hospitalizations keep breaking recordsWhy we're numb to 250,000 deaths.
  3. World: England to impose stricter regional systemU.S. hotspots far outpacing Europe's — Portugal to ban domestic travel for national holidays.
  4. Economy: The biggest pandemic labor market drags.
  5. Sports: Coronavirus precautions leave college basketball schedule in flux.
Nov 23, 2020 - Health

U.S. coronavirus hospitalizations keep breaking records

Data: The COVID Tracking Project; Chart: Axios Visuals

The number of people hospitalized with COVID-19 in the U.S. has reached new record highs every day since Nov. 10.

Why it matters: Governors in states like North Dakota and Illinois have been warning about overburdened hospitals and limited beds for weeks.

Nov 23, 2020 - Politics & Policy

California governor and family in quarantine after coronavirus exposure

California Gov. Gavin Newsom. Photo: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

California Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) tweeted late Sunday that he and his family are quarantining after being exposed to COVID-19.

Details: Newsom said they learned Friday that three of his children had come into contact with a California Highway Patrol officer who tested positive for the coronavirus. "Thankfully, the entire family tested negative today," Newsom said.

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