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A trial COVID-19 vaccine. Photo: Silvio Avila/AFP via Getty Images

35% of Americans say they would refuse a coronavirus vaccine, even if it was free, approved by the Food and Drug Administration and available immediately, according to a Gallup poll released Friday.

The big picture: Health experts believe a vaccine — coupled with recommended public health measures — will be the path back to societal normalcy. But that outcome relies on a critical mass getting the vaccine so that the population can achieve herd immunity.

  • Many Americans, however, are split along party lines as to whether they'd be willing to obtain a vaccine for COVID-19.
  • 81% of Democrats said they would be willing to have a vaccine, while 47% of Republicans said the same.
  • Independents fell in the middle, with 59% reporting they would get vaccinated for the coronavirus.

By the numbers: Age and race are also strong predictors of a person's likelihood to be treated with a vaccine.

  • White Americans reported 67% willingness to get vaccinated, while non-white Americans reported a 59% likelihood.
  • 76% of 18-29-year-olds reported willingness to receive a vaccine, as well as 70% of those 65 and older.
  • But middle-aged Americans between 30-49 years old and 50-64-year-olds reported only 64% and 59% willingness, respectively.

Go deeper

Caitlin Owens, author of Vitals
14 hours ago - Health

Large coronavirus outbreaks leading to high death rates

Data: The COVID Tracking Project; Chart: Sara Wise/Axios

Many of the states where coronavirus cases have recently skyrocketed are also seeing the highest death rates in the nation, a painful reminder that wherever the virus goes, death eventually follows.

Between the lines: Deaths usually lag behind cases by a few weeks. Given America's record-high case counts, it's reasonable to expect that death rates across the country will continue to rise in tandem.

Updated 2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Health: Large coronavirus outbreaks leading to high death rates — Coronavirus cases are at an all-time high ahead of Election Day.
  2. Politics: Top HHS spokesperson pitched coronavirus ad campaign as "helping the president" — Space Force's No. 2 general tests positive for coronavirus.
  3. World: Taiwan reaches a record 200 days with no local coronavirus cases.
  4. Sports: MLB to investigate Dodgers player who joined celebration after positive COVID test.
  5. 🎧Podcast: The vaccine race turns toward nationalism.

Coronavirus cases are at an all-time high ahead of Election Day

Expand chart
Data: The COVID Tracking Project, state health departments; Map: Andrew Witherspoon, Sara Wise/Axios

In the final week before Election Day, new coronavirus infections have soared to an all-time high — virtually guaranteeing that the pandemic will be the most prominent issue in America as voters prepare to choose the next president.

The big picture: Cases are surging and local hospitals are straining at the very moment that voters are choosing between President Trump, who continues to insist that the pandemic is almost over, and Joe Biden, who has made the crisis a centerpiece of his campaign.