Covid vaccine: 75% of SR News audience would want it – 25% wouldn’t

Covid-19 vaccines are now being trialled around the world, as hopes rise of a roll-out in December. Photo: Rafael Henrique / SOPA Images/Sipa USA)


AN SR News online poll has found that – unlike Prime Minister Boris Johnson – nearly one-in-four of our readers would not get a Covid-19 vaccine if they were offered it.

Our finding, based on 126 responses to an SR News Twitter survey, comes as the Government announced on Monday that it was going to buy 40 million vaccine doses from the American company Pfizer. 

So far, Pfizer says its vaccine has had a 90 per cent success rate in their clinicial trials, though there are concerns about potential side effects.

We spoke with a recent University of Sunderland graduate, who wished to remain anonymous but said they feel the main issue with the vaccine is trust.

They said: “The option of getting a vaccine is a difficult decision for me to make. In my opinion, during Covid the trust between the public and Government has been shattered. 

“As a young person I don’t know why I should even engage with politics, even though I work in that sector. 

“I feel that if the Government built up our trust again and explained their policies and thoughts in a clearer way, then the British public would listen.”

Another reason why some of our readers will not rush to get a vaccine, is because they believe there are more vulnerable people who should be priorised – which is what the Government has said it will do when a nationwide vaccine programme begins.

Paul Cook, 46, from Darlington, said he is fit and healthy, with no other health problems, so he shouldn’t be at the front of the queue for a vaccine.

He said: “I’m not in a rush to get one to be honest. The virus generally seems to impact certain ages, ethnic backgrounds and people with other health problems. 

“At some point down the line, I probably would get the vaccine. But I have never had a flu jab before and I am pretty healthy, so I am not that concerned if I don’t get one.

“They have done trials which they claim is 90 per cent effective so, if that’s true, it should be used. 

“I’m just not convinced that I would need one, as I’m a fit, healthy guy. If I was 70-plus I may have a different view, I just think people who are at risk or think they are should be treated first.” 

While there is concern about the safety of the vaccine, the Government has insisted that it will be tested vigorously.

Dr June Raine, chief executive of the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency, said: “Although we have adapted our processes to undertake our rigorous review of effectiveness and safety in a rolling way, there is absolutely no chance that we will compromise on standards of safety or effectiveness.

“The steps that help to reassure on that include our independent expert advisory committee, which is an even greater layer of independence.”

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