What We're Reading: Half of US Adults Would Get COVID-19 Vaccine; Colorectal Cancer Diagnoses Drop; Hunger Program Faces Delays

May 27, 2020
AJMC Staff

Only half of US adults say they would receive a coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) vaccine should it become available; diagnoses of colorectal cancer fell during March and April; slow uptake led to delays in a child hunger prevention program.

Poll Finds Half of Americans Would Get COVID-19 Vaccine

A new Associated Press—NORC Center for Public Affairs Research poll found roughly half of American adults (49%) would get a coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) vaccine if scientists working to produce one succeed. The poll found that 1 in 5 of those surveyed would refuse the vaccine while 31% were not sure if they would get vaccinated. Of those who say they will not receive the vaccine, 70% cite safety as their top concern. For those who would receive a vaccine, top motivators include protecting themselves, their family, and the community they live in.

New Colorectal Cancer Diagnoses Fall

New diagnoses of colorectal cancer fell by more than 32% in March and April in the United States, due to postponed screenings and appointments, Reuters reports. Colorectal cancer is the second leading cause of cancer deaths in the United States. The number of performed colonoscopies and biopsies fell by around 90% between mid-March and mid-April compared with the same period in 2019, according to research from Komodo Health. In addition, colorectal cancer surgeries fell by 53%. Screenings are vital to catching the disease early on, as the 5-year survival rate is near 90%.

Small Percentage of Children Receive Aid from Pandemic Hunger Program

Pandemic-EBT, a hunger prevention program instituted in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, has only benefitted 15% of eligible children since the program’s inception in March, The New York Times reports. Originally intended to aid 30 million children across the country, Pandemic-EBT was created to compensate children for free meals they would usually receive in school via electronic vouchers that can be used in grocery stores. However, only 12 states have started sending the benefits to parents of eligible children while 16 states lack federal approval to begin distributing payments.