Americans divided over who should distribute COVID-19 vaccine: poll

By Tamar Lapin | NY Post

Americans are divided over whether the feds or states should call the shots when it comes to distributing a coronavirus vaccine, according to a poll released Thursday.

When asked which entity is best prepared to distribute the COVID-19 inoculation once its ready, 34 percent said the states, while 30 percent wanted to leave it in the federal government’s hands, according to the Harris Poll of 2,022 US adults conducted over the weekend.

Just 13 percent of respondents went with private companies.

That split was also represented along party lines, with more Democrats — 39 percent — picking the states and more Republicans — 36 percent — choosing the feds’ side.

“This issue of who you trust continues to fall on partisan lines,” said Harris Poll CEO John Gerzema. “Even a vaccine is a political issue.”

Overall, 47 percent of respondents said they believe the US is prepared to deliver a vaccine, while 53 percent did not have faith

However, Republicans put more trust in the nation’s preparedness, at 64 percent, while just 35 percent of Democrats said they thought the US was up to the task.

“As with most things in America there’s a partisan divide and that extends not only to whether we’re prepared but on who should administer, and you can clearly see that division,” said Gerzema.

One thing folks did seem to agree on — at 76 percent — was the fear of another coronavirus outbreak. Only 24 percent of respondents said they weren’t concerned about a second wave.

A possible fear factor for Americans is the recent shuttering of several college campuses due to outbreaks of the virus, said Gerzema.

“Fear has been so high in our study,” he said, adding he didn’t think that worry would go down until there was positive news from ongoing COVID-19 vaccine trials.

The announcement on Tuesday that drug giant AstraZeneca had put its vaccine testing on hold after a study participant suffered a possible serious side effect would surely lead to “more doubts,” said Gerzema.

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