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Poll Results: What are your thoughts on getting a Covid-19 vaccine?

The big news of Monday morning was the development of a potential Covid-19 vaccine that is more than 90% effective - but how do our readers feel about getting the jab?
The flu vaccination programme is being expanded to include more vulnerable people this year (Photo: Pexels)

The vast majority of people who voted in our poll (66%) said that they've always been prepared to have the vaccine - in contrast to the 3% of respondents who said that they once wanted the vaccine but have since changed their minds.

Exactly 16% of voters said that they have never wanted the vaccine and the news of a breakthrough did not change their opinion on that, while 2.6% of people said that they started out not wanting the jab but are now prepared to have it.

As always, a few respondents said they didn't know - but with this poll it was a much larger percentage (12% compared to the usual 2% or 3%) which implies that this is an issue that isn't straightforward for many.

For many, the counter-argument against getting the vaccine is, not unreasonably, the amount of time it has taken to produce. The Wellcome Trust says that for most vaccines, the discovery and research phase is normally two to five years.
It has been possible to develop many of the vaccines currently in the trial stages more quickly than expected, however. 

Dr Claire Waddington, clinical lecturer in infectious disease at Cambridge University, explained why to PA. She said: "Some of it is reflecting modern science in that, certainly for the Oxford vaccine, they basically had a vaccine, almost ready to go where you could just plug in the genetic code. But the background to the vaccine was already established and being used for other things.

"And that’s in vast contrast to when vaccines were developed 40, 50 years ago where essentially we didn’t have any of that genomic knowledge or the sort of scientific capability to do such specific planning.

"With our ability to do things like genome sequencing, we’re able to quickly move to much more specific information that we can use to develop a vaccine. And it’s also allowed that kind of background technology to develop."

And reassurances have been made that no vaccine will be approved until the safety standards have been met, despite the urgency with which the world would like to return to normal.

Dr June Raine, chief executive of the MHRA, said in a Downing Street briefing: "A Covid-19 vaccine will only be approved once it has met robust standards of effectiveness, safety and quality.

"Our teams of scientists and clinicians carefully, methodically, scientifically, rigorously review all the data on safety, effectiveness and quality. And we ask questions, what does the vaccine contain? How does it work in the body? What level of protection does it provide?

"The public can be confident that all those tests are done to the very highest standards. Safety is our watchword."

Most respondents to our poll seem to believe that.