A quarter of voters believe a COVID-19 vaccine will be available by the end of the year

Candice Jaimungal
October 02, 2020, 6:00 PM UTC

According to the latest Economist/YouGov Poll, a quarter of likely voters think the battle against coronavirus is almost over, believing that a coronavirus vaccine will be available to the public by the end of 2020. One in five (20%) voters say they expect the vaccine by the end of the year, while 5% say they anticipate it as soon as the end of next month, November.  

The data follows President Trump’s claim during Tuesday’s debate that a vaccine will be available soon. “I’ve spoken to Pfizer, I’ve spoken to all of the people that you have to speak to, Moderna, Johnson & Johnson, and others...” said the President. “We’re weeks away from a vaccine,” he added. 

This could be the reason why supporters of President Trump are more likely than supporters of Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden to expect a COVID-19 vaccine by the end of the year. Two in five (43%) of those who intend to vote for Trump  say they expect a vaccine by the end of the year, compared to 13% of those who say they will vote for Biden in the 2020 election. 

Trump voters are, in fact, more likely to think that a vaccine is coming this year than next. Just 32% believe the vaccine will become available in 2021. 

Voters as a whole tend to think the vaccine is coming in 2021. They are most likely to expect a vaccine by the summer of 2021 (41%), with a further 13% thinking it won’t be available until the end of 2021.  

Only a small proportion of voters (5%) think we will have to wait until 2022 or later for a coronavirus cure. 

Related: Vaccination fears rise, especially among Democrats 

America Speaks: Will Americans get vaccinated against the coronavirus? 

See the toplines and crosstabs from this week’s Economist/YouGov Poll  


Methodology: The Economist survey was conducted by YouGov using a nationally representative sample of 1,500 registered voters interviewed online between September 27 – 30, 2020. This sample was weighted according to gender, age, race, and education based on the American Community Survey, conducted by the US Bureau of the Census, as well as 2016 Presidential vote, registration status, geographic region, and news interest. Respondents were selected from YouGov’s opt-in panel to be representative of all US citizens. The margin of error is approximately 3.8% for the overall sample. 

Image: Getty