80% Say It’s Important for All Countries to Have Ample Access to Vaccines
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Almost 7-in-10 American voters favor the U.S. government investing in a worldwide vaccine manufacturing program and 8-in-10 say it’s important that all countries have ample access to vaccines, according to a new poll released today by Public Citizen and Lake Research Partners.
The poll of likely 2022 voters also found that in addition to the 69% of Americans supporting a U.S. investment in global manufacturing, half (50%) strongly favor it. The partisan breakdown of support includes 86% of Democrats, 61% of Independents, and a majority (54%) of Republicans.
The poll also found that 57% rate as “very important,” and 81% rate as “important” that all countries have access to the vaccines so they can vaccinate their citizens quickly and efficiently. Forty-two percent say the U.S. should play an active role in the global distribution of COVID-19 vaccines and provide funding to ensure access, while just 20% say the U.S. should not.
“The American public overwhelmingly supports doing what’s right and necessary: massively ramping up coronavirus vaccine production so that everyone on the planet can be vaccinated,” said Robert Weissman, president of Public Citizen. “That’s a humanitarian imperative as the disease spreads faster and faster among low-vaccinated low- and middle-income countries. It’s also a requirement even to end the pandemic in the U.S.; as the Delta variant illustrates, so long as huge portions of the world’s population are unvaccinated, we face the prospect of new strains that will inevitably make their way back to the U.S.”
Regarding the sharing of vaccine technology and information, 64% of respondents supported the waiving of intellectual property protections so other countries may produce vaccines, and 74% support the Biden administration calling on Pfizer, Moderna and other drugmakers to share vaccine development knowledge with other countries in exchange for reasonable compensation.
Public Citizen revealed the polling results in a virtual press conference Thursday, attended by U.S. Rep. Raja Krishnamoorthi (D-Ill.) who spoke on ongoing legislative efforts to increase global COVID-19 vaccine production. The NOVID Act, sponsored by Krishnamoorthi, would provide a $34 billion investment that Public Citizen research found would make eight billion COVID-19 vaccine doses in one year.
“This poll demonstrates that Americans understand that ending the pandemic anywhere means ending it everywhere, and that’s why I introduced the NOVID Act to produce and distribute 8 billion vaccines to inoculate the countries most in need,” Rep. Krishnamoorthi said. “The vast majority of Americans recognize that it’s important that countries around the world have access to vaccines so they can vaccinate their citizens quickly and efficiently to save lives and prevent new variants from emerging. Already, 116 members of Congress have joined me in urging congressional leadership to include funding in the upcoming budget package for the production and global distribution of COVID-19 vaccines based on the NOVID Act. Earlier this month, I was joined by Reps. Malinowski and Jayapal in asking President Biden to support this effort as well. This poll demonstrates a clear public mandate from the American people for our government to act immediately to protect our own citizens and people across the world through an American-led global vaccination initiative.”