Truth About Covid-19: Poll 3

Mount Sinai South Nassau Truth In Medicine Poll

October 2020

Mount Sinai South Nassau Truth In Medicine Poll: More than 50% of Metro Area Residents Polled Do Not Plan to Get COVID-19 Vaccine

  • 66% who won’t get vaccine expressed concern that process is rushed
  • School reopening gets high marks
  • Job losses highest among minorities 65

Nine months into a worldwide pandemic, less than half of metro area residents plan to get a COVID vaccine when it becomes available, according to the latest Mount Sinai South Nassau public health poll, sponsored by Bethpage. The poll’s findings underscore concerns about the vaccine’s development and lack of trust in the FDA’s regulatory process to ensure its safety and effectiveness.

On a positive note, most area residents believe the reopening of local schools has gone well, the poll showed. Forty-one percent of those polled have school age children and about one-half of these respondents said their child returned to school at least part-time. More than 90% of these parents gave schools high marks for successfully reopening. And mask wearing in public has gained widespread acceptance, according to the poll.

Another key finding of the poll: respondents reported high job loss due to COVID among minorities in our area as compared to whites. And only half of those over 65 who were employed before COVID are still working at the same job.

Only 46 percent of respondents to the poll said they would get the COVID vaccine. Among those who said they would not get it, two-thirds said they believe the vaccine is being rushed and they question its safety. Only a slim majority, 54% of 600 metro area residents polled, trust the FDA to impartially determine that a COVID vaccine is safe and effective to release.

“We clearly have our work cut out for us in terms of educating the public on the safety of a COVID vaccine, assuming one is fully developed, tested demonstrated to be safe and efficacious, and approved by the FDA,” said Aaron E. Glatt, MD, Chair of the Department of Medicine at Mount Sinai South Nassau and a national expert on infectious diseases. “The poll results show that there is significant concern about the approval process. It will be up to us in public health and in the government to make the case for a COVID vaccine once it becomes available. I have faith in the approval process being conducted by the FDA and that all the data will be analyzed by independent professionals. These professionals will be guided by the science and nothing else.”

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