Extra safety scrutiny planned as virus vaccine worries grow

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By LAURAN NEERGAARD AP Medical Writer

Facing public skepticism about rushed COVID-19 vaccines, U.S. health officials are planning extra scrutiny of the first people vaccinated when shots become available — an added safety layer experts call vital.

A new poll suggests those vaccine fears are growing. With this week’s pause of a second major vaccine study because of an unexplained illness — and repeated tweets from President Donald Trump that raise the specter of politics overriding science — a quarter of Americans say they won’t get vaccinated. That’s a slight increase from 1 in 5 in May.

The poll from The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research found only 46% of Americans want a COVID-19 vaccine and another 29% are unsure.

More striking, while Black Americans have been especially hard-hit by COVID-19, just 22% say they plan to get vaccinated compared with 48% of white Americans, the AP-NORC poll found.

“I am very concerned about hesitancy regarding COVID vaccine,” said Dr. William Schaffner, a vaccine specialist at Vanderbilt University who says even the primary care doctors who’ll need to recommend vaccinations have questions.

“If the politicians would…



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