By Jimmy Vielkind
Nearly a quarter of New Yorkers say they are unlikely to take a vaccine against the coronavirus when it becomes available, according to a poll released Tuesday.
Twenty-four percent of the 803 New York state voters surveyed by the Siena College Research Institute last week said they would either probably not or definitely not take a coronavirus vaccine if approved by the Food and Drug Administration.
The survey showed 35% said they definitely would take the vaccine, and 34% said they would probably take it. Three drugmakers have said in recent weeks that vaccines under their development were shown to be broadly effective in late-stage trials. On Friday Pfizer Inc. and partner BioNTech SE asked U.S. health regulators to permit emergency use of their two-shot vaccine.
Siena spokesman Steven Greenberg said the survey found support for the vaccine was "regardless of party, region, race, age, religion, gender, or even who they supported in the presidential election."
Even after approval, mass distribution will take months. New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said in October that he expected people might be skeptical that FDA approvals could be influenced by President Trump, who has cheered the rapid deployment of a vaccine. The Democratic governor formed a panel of state experts to review any FDA determination, and he has criticized the Trump administration's vaccine-distribution plans.
The poll also found an increase in support for legalizing recreational marijuana for adults as well as letting New Yorkers bet on sports matches from their mobile devices. Both issues are on the table in Albany, as the state looks for ways to raise revenue to fill a projected $8.7 billion deficit in its coming fiscal year.
Sixty percent of voters surveyed support legalizing marijuana, and 32% oppose doing so -- up from a split of 55-40 in a February survey by Siena. Support for sports betting increased to 50% in the latest poll from 44% in February 2019.
This month's Siena survey has a margin of error of plus or minus 4.1 percentage points.
Write to Jimmy Vielkind at Jimmy.Vielkind@wsj.com
(END) Dow Jones Newswires