Nearly 19 million more American adults – about a third of those now refusing to get vaccinated – would get vaccinated if they could take a pill instead of getting a shot, according to a poll conducted by Quadrant Strategies and commissioned by Vaxart, Inc.

Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay

The survey found that 23% of respondents said they do not plan to get vaccinated but nearly a third of them said they would if the vaccine were available as a pill instead of by a needle injection.

The results suggest that about half of the additional vaccinated group would be drawn from minority populations, communities that have disproportionately not been vaccinated. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention  report only 12% of Hispanics, 9% of Blacks, and 6% of Asians have received vaccines as of April 21, 2021.

“Vaccinating another 19 million American adults may help the US reach herd immunity. The public health and societal implications of an oral Covid-19 vaccine could be both broad and profound,” said Vaxart chief executive officer Andrei Floroiu.

“This poll suggests as many as an additional 4 million Black, 3 million rural, 2 million Hispanic and 1 and a half million Asian Americans would take a pill Covid-19 vaccine. That provides an important path to reducing healthcare inequity in this country and to alleviating the disproportionate impact Covid-19 has had on predominantly minority and rural communities,” Floroiu said.

“It is not surprising that seven in 10 Americans prefer a pill to getting stuck with a needle,” Vaxart chief science officer Sean Tucker said. “Needle injections present a barrier to getting people vaccinated and we have a solution that we believe will be effective and would allow people to avoid injections they don’t want to have.”

Nearly a quarter of respondents said they are afraid of needles and that fear is found among all groups.

“We need to tear down this barrier to vaccinating more Americans. A pill option taken at home on their own time raises the number of Americans likely to get a Covid-19 vaccine in a material way,” Floroiu said.

The national survey of 1,500 Americans over the age of 18, conducted by Quadrant Strategies between March 17 and 24, also found that:

  • 7 in 10 said they’d prefer taking a vaccine pill rather than getting injected with a vaccine.
  • 7 in 10 said they’d prefer taking a pill at home rather than going somewhere to get vaccinated.
  • 8 in 10 support speeding up the development of new vaccines that can respond more quickly to new virus strains as they appear. An overwhelming majority are worried that current vaccine development can’t keep up with the new strains.

This survey’s findings come as the government has reported newer and more variants of Covid-19 in the United States.

Vaxart recently completed the Phase 1 study of its oral tablet coronavirus vaccine:

  • The study reached primary and secondary endpoints of safety and immunogenicity, respectively.
  • VXA-CoV2-1 induced potent CD8T-cell responses that are potentially protective against the original as well as new and emerging Covid-19 strains.

Survey Methodology

Quadrant Strategies conducted an online national survey of 1,500 Americans 18 and older between March 17 and 24, 2021. The margin of error is +/- 3%. Quadrant Strategies is based in Washington, D.C.