1 in 3 say they won't get vaccinated, jeopardizing herd immunity

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About one in three Americans say they definitely or probably won’t get the COVID-19 vaccine, according to an Associated Press poll. It could deal a blow to the quest to get to herd immunity.

"We need to vaccinate as quickly as possible as many people as possible," said LSU Health New Orleans professor Dr. Fred Lopez.

Dr. Lopez said that is the only way to prevent more mutant variants of the coronavirus from showing up, extending the pandemic. But he says having two-thirds of the country vaccinated won't cut it.

"We need to have much higher numbers if we want to reach herd immunity against the virus that causes COVID-19," Dr. Lopez explained, noting that typically only about half of the country bothers to get seasonal flu shots. "Our estimates for herd immunity to be reached would probably require somewhere along 80 to 85 percent of the population to be vaccinated," Dr. Lopez explained.

The AP/NORC poll, though, finds 15 percent of Americans say they definitely won't, and another 17 percent saying they likely won't get vaccinated.

Of those who said they definitely will not get the vaccine, 65% cited worries about side effects. About the same percentage said they don’t trust COVID-19 vaccines. And 38% said they don’t believe they need a vaccine.