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Many recent studies show stunning public mistrust in vaccines. And mistrust could push levels that potential COVID-19 vaccines are taken in the United States below the rates needed to protect communities against the disease.

One new prepublication study of 8,000 people in the U.S. and Britain found that fewer people would “definitely” take a COVID-19 vaccine than the 55% of the population scientists estimate is needed to provide so-called “herd immunity”.

The study comes as one of the major vaccine efforts showed promising results. Pfizer said on Monday its experimental COVID-19 vaccine is more than 90% effective based on interim data from late stage trials. The data were seen as a crucial step in the battle to contain a pandemic that has killed more than a million people.

People without a college degree, those in low-income groups and non-whites are more likely to reject a COVID-19 vaccine, the study found.

Women were more likely than men to refuse a COVID-19 vaccine, but more respondents in both countries said they would accept a vaccine if it meant protecting family, friends, or at-risk groups.

In the United States alone, another study by the Pew Research Center found, the share of adult Americans who say they would “definitely” or “probably” get a Covid-19 vaccine fell from 72 percent in May to 51 percent in September.

An October Harris poll showed that 78% of Americans think that the speedy approval process of a coronavirus vaccine is driven by politics – not by proof that shots work. About 83% said they would worry about a safe a coronavirus vaccine is if it was approved quickly.

And recent Axios-Ipsos polls confirms that vaccine resistance is growing. The percentage of people who say they are likely to get the first generation COVID-19 vaccine as soon as it is available fell from about 47% in August, to 39% at the end of September.

Heidi Larson, a professor at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, who co-led the newest study said “This threatens to undermine the levels of COVID-19 vaccine acceptance.” She is also director of the international Vaccine Confidence Project.