Brandon Von Feldt, CFA
Simmering in the background of the presidential race and stimulus talks remains a crucial step towards fully re-opening the country: vaccine progress. Many experts view the development of a vaccine as the key to finally ending the battle against COVID-19. With a commercially available vaccine anticipated as early as April of 2021, it seemed that we were drawing nearer to the end of restrictions on large gatherings. People would be able to attend sporting events, weddings, and graduations again in a return to more normal life. However, in a startling recent poll of over 34,000 people regarding their interest in receiving a government-approved vaccine, over half said that they would not or are not sure that they would want to receive the vaccine.
The stark difference in responses seems to correlate with education level, as shown in the charts above. There is a significant increase in wanting to receive the vaccine on behalf of people whose education includes a college degree. For education levels below college, the results were much more mixed about receptivity to a vaccine. The most commonly cited reservations were accessibility (cost, wait time, proximity of distribution center/medical office) and effectiveness. Although this was just one poll, it appears that the release of a vaccine may not completely stem the pandemic unless there is a dramatic reversal in vaccine sentiment over the coming months.
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