Who do Americans trust to vouch for a COVID-19 vaccine?

Graeme BruceBusiness Data Journalist
October 13, 2020, 7:42 PM UTC

American voters put the most trust in their personal doctor than anyone else to vouch for the safety of a COVID-19 vaccine, new Yahoo News / YouGov data shows.  

Over any public figure or organization, 47% of registered voters chose their physician to vouch for a vaccine. Among supporters of President Donald Trump, 41% (a plurality) trust their doctor, while roughly half (53%) of supporters of Democratic nominee Joe Biden agree. 

However, Biden voters are most likely to put their faith in Anthony Fauci (67%), director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, which stands in stark contrast to the 19% of Trump supporters who agree. This difference along political lines is likely the result of President Trump’s continued public criticisms of Fauci.

Voters put relatively little trust in the candidate they’re supporting. Among Biden supporters, 41% trust him to vouch for a vaccine, while 25% of Trump supporters trust the president. 

President Trump has several times promised an imminent vaccine, most recently stating one will be distributed “very shortly” at his first rally since contracting the disease. 

The Food and Drug Administration -- which 43% of voters trust to vouch for a vaccine -- has not yet approved one.  

The promise of a vaccine has been a political hot-button on both sides, with  Kamala Harris saying “if Donald Trump tells us that we should take it, I’m not taking it” during the vice-presidential debate last week. 

The latest Yahoo News / YouGov data shows America’s intention to get vaccinated is steady, with 38% of registered voters who say they will, and 26% who say they won’t. Roughly a third (36%) are not sure. 

As concerns swirl that vaccine efforts are driven primarily by politics, just 16% of voters say they will get a vaccine as soon as one is available, with little difference between Trump supporters (14%) and Biden supporters (18%). 

A plurality of voters (46%) will wait and see what happens when others take it before getting a vaccine.  

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

Methodology: The Yahoo! News survey was conducted by YouGov using a nationally representative sample of 1,525 U.S. registered voters interviewed online between October 9-11, 2020. This sample was weighted according to gender, age, race, and education based on the American Community Survey, conducted by the U.S. Bureau of the Census, as well as 2016 Presidential vote, registration status, geographic region, and news interest. The margin of error for the sample was 4.3%  

Image: Getty