Four in 10 New Jerseyans would skip a coronavirus vaccine, poll finds

A health worker holding a COVID-19 vaccine vial

A health worker displays a dose of a COVID-19 vaccine currently on phase III clinical trials in Instanbul on Oct. 9, 2020. (AP Photo/Emrah Gurel)

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Roughly four in 10 Garden State residents say they would not take a COVID-19 vaccine when it becomes available, according to a new survey.

The Rutgers-Eagleton poll released Tuesday found that between 36-47% of respondents vowed not to get vaccinated against the virus.

Ashley Koning, director of the Eagleton Center for Public Interest Polling, said the results mirror national trends that showed more backing for a vaccine earlier in the pandemic.

“High support for a vaccine back in the spring has really declined, and public opinion has become much more split on the issue,” she said.

New Jersey was one of the epicenters of the coronavirus outbreak when it began in the spring but largely got a handle on the pandemic until cases began surging again in recent weeks along with other states across the country.

Koning noted that respondents were more likely to say they would take a coronavirus vaccine if it was discussed in positive terms. While 36% of people said they would get a “safe and effective” vaccine, just 17% said they would take a vaccine described as “first-generation.”

The poll was conducted in late October before the U.S presidential election and news that both Pfizer’s and Moderna’s coronavirus vaccines were more than 90% effective in clinical trials.

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