One in three ‘unlikely to take Covid vaccine’ | Coronavirus

More than a third of the public say they are unlikely to take the Covid-19 vaccine when it becomes available, according to a new Opinium poll for the Observer.

It found that following the approval of the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine for emergency use by the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Authority, the public have become much more optimistic about when they will receive a jab. Three-fifths (60%) now think it will be offered to “people like them” by the end of April. This is up from 49% two weeks ago. Older people are even more optimistic, with a majority (52%) thinking they will receive a vaccine by the end of February.

However, there are still some underlying concerns that ministers will need to address. More than a third (35%) say they are unlikely to take it, while 48% worry that it will not be safe, 47% worry it will not be effective and 55% worry that it will have side-effects.

Despite the concerns, just one in five (20%) said they were unlikely to take it if it is available and the government recommends that they take it, down from 24% two weeks ago. More than two-thirds (68%) now say they would be likely to take it in those circumstances, up slightly from 67% two weeks ago.

The poll also found Labour taking a two-point lead over the Tories. Adam Drummond from Opinium said: “This suggests that any political benefit for the government will likely instead come later on, when people begin receiving the vaccine, life begins to return to normal and the economy can begin to recover. The question then is whether or not this potentially optimistic picture ends up being disrupted by the impact of the end of the Brexit transition period, particularly in the event of no trade deal being reached.”

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