While there is hope that 70% to 85% of Americans would be vaccinated by early fall or late summer, a recent poll indicates that there is some reluctance from the public to get the COVID vaccine.
The poll from The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research found that one in three Americans would definitely or probably not get the COVID vaccine.
Of the respondents, 67% said they plan to get vaccinated or have already done so, with the remaining 15% saying they are certain they won't get the shot and 17% saying they probably won't get vaccinated.
Reasons for the hesitation in getting vaccinated included doubts about the COVID vaccine's safety and effectiveness, with more resistance among younger people, those without college degrees, Black Americans, and Republicans, the poll said.
The news is discouraging for health experts, such as Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation's leading infectious disease expert, who has encouraged Americans to get vaccinated to reach herd immunity as soon as possible and prevent the spread of the new strains of the virus that are circulating.
To date, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has administered over 44.7 million doses of the vaccine to over 33.7 million people. Over 10.4 million people have received both doses of the COVID vaccine, achieving up to 95% effectiveness from the virus.
But even those that said they would definitely get the COVID vaccine have concerns about the drug, as the poll found that 65% of respondents had an uneasiness over side effects despite the CDC saying that severe reactions to the COVID vaccine are "rare" and have occurred only in 10 cases in over 4 million first doses.
About the same number of respondents said they don't trust the COVID vaccine, and 38% said they don't think they need the vaccine. Other respondents to the poll said they don't trust the government and don't know if the vaccine will work.
But those that said they would probably not get the shot haven't completely decided against it as 63% told the pollster that they are waiting to see if it is safe, and 60% said they just are worried about side effects.
Medical experts maintain the safety and effectiveness of the COVID vaccines, saying that both the Moderna and Pfizer-BioNTech drugs were tested on more people for a longer period of time than most typical vaccines.
They have also suggested that if the vaccines were deadly, the results would have been apparent immediately, affecting hundreds and thousands of people.