The majority of doctors plan to take a COVID-19 vaccine once it is available and cleared by federal regulators, a poll released Monday by the Medical Society of the State of New York found.
The survey of physicians found 80% of those responding will take the vaccine while 7.5% say they will not.
Three-quarters of doctors also told the survey that patients have been asking them about the safety and effectiveness of the vaccine, but 70% of the respondents also expect at least half of their patients to be seek an immunization once it is widely available to do so.
“New York physicians stand ready and able to begin the process of immunizing New Yorkers and the Medical Society of the State of New York believes that the trust patients have in their physicians will go far in combatting vaccine hesitancy,” said Medical Society President Bonnie Litvack, MD.
“Community-based physicians’ practices are located in New York’s rural, suburban, and urban areas and more often than not, those physicians speak the language of their patients, and most importantly, have the trust of their patients. As physicians, we must all work together to immunize all New Yorkers with the COVID-19 vaccine."
The poll comes as several major pharmaceutical companies this month are expected to clear final regulatory approval from the Food and Drug Administration for use of the vaccine after late-stage clinical trials.
The vaccine is providing a ray of hope amid a national surge in COVID-19 cases, but will also require logistical concerns be satisfied, including the safe storage of millions of doses for distribution.
In New York, as well as several other states, a panel of experts will review the findings surrounding the vaccine's effectiveness and safety. Governor Andrew Cuomo has pledged this will be a near-parallel effort to the federal government's review process and not delay distribution.
Cuomo has raised concerns, however, about the federal government's distribution plan for a vaccine, worried it will leave out communities of color and poorer neighborhoods that do not have easily accessible pharmacies.
And the governor has pointed to polls showing voters concerned earlier this year the vaccine would be rushed for political purposes; Cuomo last week pledged to take the vaccine to show it is safe once it is approved.