Once there's a COVID-19 vaccine, will people accept it?

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- Medical experts say the long-term recovery from COVID-19 is going to involve several measures, including people's willingness to get tested, vaccinated and participate in tracing programs.

But how likely are people to hop on board?

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Infectious disease experts believe a coronavirus vaccine is key but the country would need roughly 50% to 80% immunity for the virus to retreat, and there are still many unknowns.

"We're going into developing vaccines with the idea that we're going to try everything that's ever been used for successful vaccine and a lot of things that have never been rolled out as a successful vaccine," said Dr. Tony Moody, a physician-scientist and associate professor of pediatrics at Duke University.

Dr. Moody says though the scientific community is making great strides in developing a vaccine, the process of getting one to the public is a long one.

"Evaluating, determining if they're safe, determining if they're effective and eventually getting to the point where we can say yes the vaccine does have a level of protection in the population," Dr. Moody said.

But when all is said and done, how many will opt to get vaccinated?

"Of course we have to get one, we cannot stay home," said Tee Taong of Fresno.

"I'm up in the air about that, but possibly, probably," said Brian Washington, Take 3 Burger owner.

As businesses get ready to reopen, like Take 3 in Downtown Fresno, many owners are already making modifications to accommodate social distancing and CDC guidelines to keep their patrons safe.

"We have to wear our masks, gloves, a lot of bleach and sanitizer to keep the place wiped down and I'm sure that's going to carry on," Washington said. Whether the vaccine will be rolled into the annual flu vaccine or be mandatory for school-aged children is also being considered.

The Centers for Disease Control tracks flu shots by state: the goal is 70%. While no state met that goal, only 47% of Californians got a flu vaccine during the 2018-19 flu season, ranking 36th out of 49 reporting states.

"Coronaviruses don't mutate as much as flu. That being said we don't have as much information about coronavirus," Dr. Moody said.

Because of state mandates, it was a different story for the measles vaccine, where 95% of Californians vaccinated their kindergarteners.

INTERACTIVE MAP: Check measles immunization rates where you live

"These diseases are a plane ride away. The likelihood that we're going to get surprised by something else is high," he said.

For more news coverage on the coronavirus and COVID-19 go to ABC30.com/coronavirus
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