Show an ad over header. AMP

Exclusive poll: Americans don't want to share a COVID vaccine with other countries

Data: The Harris Poll; Chart: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios

If the U.S. is the first country to develop a coronavirus vaccine, most Americans don't want to share it right away with the rest of the world — but they're OK putting high-risk people at the front of the line within the U.S., according to a new Harris poll shared exclusively with Axios.

Why it matters: Whenever the first vaccine comes, there won't be enough to go around. Experts say both of those tiers of rationing — divvying up the available doses internationally, and then a risk-based system to decide who gets it first within each country — will be necessary.


Where it stands: Dozens of potential vaccines are under development. No product has yet been proven to work, and it’s entirely possible that even the apparent front-runners may not pan out.

  • It’s premature to assume that a vaccine is right around the corner, or that the first successful one would be a knockout punch whenever it does arrive.
  • But the drumbeat of encouraging news has been steady enough that it’s reasonable to start thinking about how to distribute that first drug, whenever it does arrive.

By the numbers: 69% of respondents in the Harris survey said they’d support a priority system for distributing a vaccine within the U.S., while just 31% said they’d prefer a first-come, first-served approach.

  • Support for a priority system was consistently high among men and women, Republicans and Democrats and all income levels.
  • 73% said health care workers should get priority access to a vaccine once there is one, followed by seniors (71%), people with compromised immune systems (68%) and essential workers (60%).

Between the lines: This sort of structured, risk-based allocation would be a lot different from what most Americans are used to, in a health care system that typically allocates resources based on patients' ability to pay.

  • If people are already getting comfortable with the idea of waiting in line before getting access to a vaccine, that could help make this high-stakes, highly complex process work.

Yes, but: Although most Americans are on board with a priority system domestically, they’re not wild about the same kind of risk-based allocation internationally.

  • 66% of Americans said that if the U.S. develops the vaccine, it should only be made available abroad after all U.S. orders have been filled; just 34% said it should be made available overseas immediately.

Three countries are at the front of the pack in the vaccine race: The U.S., China and the U.K. No matter who gets there first, they won’t have enough available to vaccinate their entire populations, or anywhere close to it.

  • Experts say the “winning” country will likely have some advantage when it comes time to distribute the available doses, but if any one country is able to hoard them all, the global pandemic could rage on for years.

Americans are more skeptical of foreign-developed vaccines: Overall, 69% said they are at least somewhat likely to take a COVID-19 vaccine as soon as it’s available. But asked whether they’d use a vaccine developed by another country, that number slipped to 51%.

Methodology: The Harris survey was conducted Aug. 14-16 among a representative sample of 1,967 American adults.

Sarah Huckabee Sanders to run for governor of Arkansas

Former White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders will announce Monday that she's running for governor of Arkansas.

The big picture: Sanders was touted as a contender after it was announced she was leaving the Trump administration in June 2019. Then-President Trump tweeted he hoped she would run for governor, adding "she would be fantastic." Sanders is "seen as leader in the polls" in the Republican state, notes the Washington Post's Josh Dawsey, who first reported the news.

Mexican President López Obrador tests positive for coronavirus

Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador announced Sunday evening that he's tested positive for COVID-19.

Driving the news: López Obrador tweeted that he has mild symptoms and is receiving medical treatment. "As always, I am optimistic," he added. "We will all move forward."

Keep reading... Show less

The coronavirus is worsening economic inequality around the world

History will likely remember the pandemic as the "first time since records began that inequality rose in virtually every country on earth at the same time." That's the verdict from Oxfam's inequality report covering the year 2020 — a terrible year that hit the poorest, hardest across the planet.

Why it matters: The world's poorest were already in a race against time, facing down an existential risk in the form of global climate change. The coronavirus pandemic could set global poverty reduction back as much as a full decade, according to the World Bank.

Keep reading... Show less

McCarthy takes heat from every direction as House Republicans feud following the Capitol siege

Kevin McCarthy is learning you can get torched when you try to make everyone happy, especially after an insurrection.

Why it matters: The House Republican leader had been hoping to use this year to build toward taking the majority in 2022, but his efforts to bridge intra-party divisiveness over the Capitol siege have him taking heat from every direction, eroding his stature both with the public and within his party.

Keep reading... Show less

The next big political war: redistricting

Democrats are preparing a mix of tech and legal strategies to combat expected gerrymandering by Republicans, who are planning to go on legal offense themselves.

Why it matters: Democrats failed to regain a single state legislature on Election Day, while Republicans upped their control to 30 states' Houses and Senates. In the majority of states, legislatures draw new congressional district lines, which can boost a party's candidates for the next decade.

Keep reading... Show less

Vaccinations, relief timing dominate call among bipartisan group of 16 senators

Vaccine distribution, pandemic data and a cross-party comity dominated today's virtual meeting between White House officials and a bipartisan group of 16 senators, Senator Angus King told Axios.

Why it matters: Given Democrats' razor-thin majority in both chambers of Congress, President Biden will have to rely heavily on this group of centrist lawmakers — dubbed the "Sweet 16" — to pass any substantial legislation.

Keep reading... Show less

Progressives use billboard to pressure Chuck Schumer to end Senate filibuster

A progressive coalition is pressuring Chuck Schumer on his home turf by running a digital billboard in Times Square urging the new majority leader to end the Senate filibuster.

Why it matters: Schumer is up for re-election in 2o22 and could face a challenger, and he's also spearheading his party's broader effort to hold onto its narrow congressional majorities.

Keep reading... Show less

U.S. surpasses 25 million COVID cases

The U.S has confirmed more than 25 million coronavirus cases, per Johns Hopkins data updated on Sunday.

The big picture: President Biden has said he expects the country's death toll to exceed 500,000 people by next month, as the rate of deaths due to the virus continues to escalate.

Keep reading... Show less

Insights

mail-copy

Get Goodhumans in your inbox

Most Read

More Stories