‘I don’t need the vaccine’: GOP worries threaten virus fight Food And Drug Administration Donald Trump Joe Biden Rhode Island Chris Christie

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In this rural swath of Virginia’s Shenandoah valley, former President Donald Trump remains deeply admired, with lawn signs and campaign flags still dotting the landscape. The vaccines aimed at taming the coronavirus, however, aren’t so popular.

Laura Biggs, a 56-year-old who has already recovered from the virus, is wary of taking the vaccine. Reassurances from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Food and Drug Administration have done little to ease her alarm that the vaccine could lead to death.

“The way I feel about it is: I don’t need the vaccine at this point,” she said. “And I’m not going to get the vaccine until it is well established.”

That sentiment demonstrates the challenge ahead for public health officials as the U.S. intensifies its efforts for widespread vaccinations that could put an end to a devastating pandemic that has left more than 530,000 dead. The campaign could falter if it becomes another litmus test in America’s raging culture wars, just as mandates for mask-wearing were a point of polarization at the onset of the virus.

While polls have found vaccine hesitancy falling overall, opposition among Republicans remains stubbornly strong. A new poll from The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research found that 42% of Republicans say they probably or definitely will not get the shot, compared with 17% of Democrats — a 25-point split.

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