It's the race for a coronavirus vaccine. But, once we have it, how many will actually take it?
BUILDING A BETTER BAY AREA: The Race for a Vaccine
The group isn't just anti-vaxxers but those skeptical the rush will come at the cost of safety.
ABC7 profiled three people who share those concerns.
"I will never put a vaccine into my body," said Joseph Jacks, an anti-vaxxer.
"Tell me why you're concerned about a COVID vaccine," ABC7's Stephanie Sierra asked.
"Testing, testing, testing, testing, and more testing," Jacks said. "It's important if you're going to put something into your body that it's absolutely tested."
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Holly Baade owns a holistic healing practice in Marin. Her reasoning is personal.
"You can't buy a good immune system," she said. "Both of my children had vaccine damage problems. Clear health problems the same day they had toxins put into their bodies."
Dana Ullman isn't 'anti-vaxx' but concerned pharmaceutical companies are rushing through the process.
"I am not anti-vaccine," Ullman said. "But, when they're doing things such as they are now, not testing with a real placebo... it's a way of hiding what safety is involved."
- 50% of Americans say they won't get a COVID-19 vaccine even if it was affordable and widely available, according to an AP poll taken in late May.
- 1/3 surveyed said they're not sure.
- 7 out of 10 said they are worried about safety.
"I have those same concerns," said Dr. Yvonne Maldonado, a Stanford Pediatrician. "Before I would put my own endorsement on vaccines for COVID, I would want to see the data too. I agree with them."
Dr. Maldonado specializes in infectious diseases and confers with CDC on vaccine research.
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She is also participating in Operation Warp Speed, the federal initiative that aims to deliver 300 million doses of a safe and effective COVID-19 vaccine by Jan. 2021.
"We are in a hurry, but we're not in that much of a hurry that we want to make a big mistake," Maldonado said. "We need to hold people to account...and understand why people don't want a vaccine."
Experts and data analysists have found one factor contributing to the confusion is misinformation circulating on social media.
150 of the largest anti-vaccine groups on social media and YouTube have gained 8 million followers since late March. There are at least 400 anti-vaxx groups that have 55 million followers worldwide, according to an international non-profit tracking those accounts.
"Do you think the anti-vaxx movement will impact how fast we get to herd immunity?" Sierra asked.
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"I don't think we're going to get there very quickly," Maldonado said. "There's no way we're going to stop transmission at a global level meaning around the country or the world, unless there's between 60 to 80% of people who have permanent or long-lasting immunity."
Dr. Maldonado said it may take two years to get to herd immunity worldwide, assuming vaccines are at least 70 to 75% effective.
To put it in perspective, the closest comparison to a COVID-19 vaccine is the MMR vaccine which start to finish took 4 years to develop.
Take a look at all of ABC7's Building a Better Bay Area stories and videos.
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