President Joe Biden is pleading with Americans to get Covid-19 vaccine shots as everyone is now eligible for the vaccine from Monday.
He issued his vaccine plea as several polls found that a large minority of Americans are hesitant about receiving a shot or may even be ready to refuse the vaccine outright.
The latest YouGov/Economist poll found that a worrying 25% of Americans would not be vaccinated if they were offered a shot, compared to 56% who had either been given a dose already, or were happy to accept a shot.
A further 18% of Americans polled in March said they were not sure whether they would take the vaccine, further signalling that the rollout and herd immunity could hit a snag later.
A separate poll from Monmouth University in New Jersey revealed a quarter of Americans were firmly opposed to taking a shot. 24% of those polled said they would never get the vaccine if it was avoidable.
Another 21% said they’d prefer to see other people getting the shot before they would feel comfortable doing so themselves.
According to Monmouth, these numbers were relatively unchanged from January this year.
Even as the US and other countries press ahead with their Covid-19 vaccination programmes, infections are increasing faster than ever globally.
A record 5,363,616 new cases were reported in the week ending Saturday, a USA Today analysis of Johns Hopkins University data shows.
The growth in cases is being pushed by a spike in India, which is now reporting more than 1.5 million infections every week. Just a month ago, that figure was about 200,000.
The US, Brazil and Turkey are the other nations reporting more than 400,000 cases per week. With India, those countries account for most of the world’s new cases.