Poll shows more Americans now willing to get COVID-19 vaccine
A vaccine for COVID-19 could be authorized in a matter of weeks, and little by little, the percentage of Americans who say they'd be willing to get one has gone up.
Doctors say that's exactly what needs to happen, especially as the country's infection rate is showing no signs of slowing down anytime soon.
With more than 12 million cases of COVID-19 in the country, there is now news of a potential vaccine.
"We are in uncharted territory," says Dr. Chris Pernell, Public Health Physician of Newark University Hospital.
The Food and Drug Administration could authorize Pfizer's COVID-19 vaccine for emergency use as early as Dec. 10.
A recent Gallup poll shows more than 40% of Americans say they would not get vaccinated. That's down from 50% in September.
"I get it. I get the skepticism," Pernell says. "Look at what is known and what is available. The level of safety data that we do have to date. To look at the fact that these trials have been done in thousands, upon thousands of people. Typically trials have much smaller enrollment bank."
Certainly, there are still a number of questions.
"Will it protect the elderly? Was there a wide ethnicity group involved? What about our children? How long will it last?" asks Dr. Saju Mathew, primary care physician and public health specialist.
But doctors say the data is promising.
"It's incredible that you and I can talk about how we are probably at the verge of approving the first COVID-19 vaccine," Mathew says.
Pfizer says early data shows its vaccine has a 95% efficacy rate.
"Anything in, above 60% in terms of vaccine efficiency or efficacy, is fantastic news. At the end of the day, let's look at risk versus benefit, right? The risks are far greater of not allowing this vaccine out and the mortality that we're anticipating," says Dr. Mizuho Morrison, emergency medicine physician.
Moderna, another pharmaceutical company developing a COVID-19 vaccine released results from its clinical trial last week. It says the treatment is more than 94% effective and the company also plans to apply to the FDA for authorization in the coming weeks.