Poll: Oral Covid-19 Vaccine Pill Offers a Way to Overcome Vaccine Resistance of Millions of Americans
- Nearly 19 million Americans who will decline vaccines would get vaccinated if they had a pill option, Vaxart’s poll finds
- Seven in 10 said they would prefer a pill over an injection
SOUTH SAN FRANCISCO, Calif., April 22, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Nearly 19 million more American adults – about a third of those now refusing to get vaccinated – would get vaccinated if they could take a pill instead of getting a shot, according to a poll conducted by Quadrant Strategies and commissioned by Vaxart, Inc.
The survey found that 23% of respondents said they do not plan to get vaccinated but nearly a third of them said they would if the vaccine were available as a pill instead of by a needle injection.
The results suggest that about half of the additional vaccinated group would be drawn from minority populations, communities that have disproportionately not been vaccinated. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report only 12% of Hispanics, 9% of Blacks, and 6% of Asians have received vaccines as of April 21, 2021.
“Vaccinating another 19 million American adults may help the US reach herd immunity. The public health and societal implications of an oral Covid-19 vaccine could be both broad and profound,” said Vaxart chief executive officer Andrei Floroiu.
“This poll suggests as many as an additional 4 million Black, 3 million rural, 2 million Hispanic and 1 and a half million Asian Americans would take a pill Covid-19 vaccine. That provides an important path to reducing healthcare inequity in this country and to alleviating the disproportionate impact Covid-19 has had on predominantly minority and rural communities,” Floroiu said.
“It is not surprising that seven in 10 Americans prefer a pill to getting stuck with a needle,” Vaxart chief science officer Sean Tucker said. “Needle injections present a barrier to getting people vaccinated and we have a solution that we believe will be effective and would allow people to avoid injections they don’t want to have.”
Nearly a quarter of respondents said they are afraid of needles and that fear is found among all groups.
“We need to tear down this barrier to vaccinating more Americans. A pill option taken at home on their own time raises the number of Americans likely to get a Covid-19 vaccine in a material way,” Floroiu said.
The national survey of 1,500 Americans over the age of 18, conducted by Quadrant Strategies between March 17 and 24, also found that:
- 7 in 10 said they’d prefer taking a vaccine pill rather than getting injected with a vaccine.
- 7 in 10 said they’d prefer taking a pill at home rather than going somewhere to get vaccinated.
- 8 in 10 support speeding up the development of new vaccines that can respond more quickly to new virus strains as they appear. An overwhelming majority are worried that current vaccine development can’t keep up with the new strains.
This survey’s findings come as the government has reported newer and more variants of Covid-19 in the United States.
Vaxart recently completed the Phase 1 study of its oral tablet coronavirus vaccine:
- The study reached primary and secondary endpoints of safety and immunogenicity, respectively.
- VXA-CoV2-1 induced potent CD8+ T-cell responses that are potentially protective against the original as well as new and emerging Covid-19 strains.
Quadrant Strategies conducted an online national survey of 1,500 Americans 18 and older between March 17 and 24, 2021. The margin of error is +/- 3%. Quadrant Strategies is based in Washington, D.C.
Vaxart is a clinical-stage biotechnology company developing a range of oral recombinant vaccines based on its proprietary delivery platform. Vaxart vaccines are designed to be administered using tablets that can be stored and shipped without refrigeration and eliminate the risk of needle-stick injury. Vaxart believes that its proprietary tablet vaccine delivery platform is suitable to deliver recombinant vaccines, positioning the company to develop oral versions of currently marketed vaccines and to design recombinant vaccines for new indications. Its development programs currently include tablet vaccines designed to protect against coronavirus, Norovirus, seasonal influenza and respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), as well as a therapeutic vaccine for human papillomavirus (HPV), Vaxart’s first immuno-oncology indication. Vaxart has filed broad domestic and international patents covering its proprietary technology and creations for oral vaccination using adenovirus and TLR3 agonists.
Note Regarding Forward-Looking Statements
This press release contains forward-looking statements that involve substantial risks and uncertainties. All statements, other than statements of historical facts, included in this press release regarding Vaxart’s strategy, prospects, plans and objectives, results from pre-clinical and clinical trials, commercialization agreements and licenses, beliefs and expectations of management are forward-looking statements. These forward-looking statements may be accompanied by such words as “should,” “believe,” “could,” “potential,” “will,” “expected,” “plan” and other words and terms of similar meaning. Examples of such statements include, but are not limited to, statements relating to Vaxart’s ability to develop and commercialize its product candidates and clinical results and trial data; Vaxart’s expectations with respect to the important advantages it believes its oral vaccine platform can offer over injectable alternatives for SARS-CoV-2; expectations regarding Vaxart’s ability to develop effective vaccines against new and emerging variant strains; and Vaxart’s expectations with respect to the effectiveness of its product candidates, including Vaxart’s potential role in mitigating the impact of Covid-19. Vaxart may not actually achieve the plans, carry out the intentions or meet the expectations or projections disclosed in the forward-looking statements and you should not place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements. Actual results or events could differ materially from the plans, intentions, expectations and projections disclosed in the forward-looking statements. Various important factors could cause actual results or events to differ materially from the forward-looking statements that Vaxart makes, including uncertainties inherent in research and development, including the ability to meet anticipated clinical endpoints, commencement and/or completion dates for clinical , regulatory submission dates, regulatory approval dates and/or launch dates, as well as the possibility of unfavorable new clinical data and further analyses of existing clinical data; the risk that clinical trial data are subject to differing interpretations and assessments by regulatory authorities; whether regulatory authorities will be satisfied with the design of and results from the clinical studies; decisions by regulatory authorities impacting labeling, manufacturing processes, and safety that could affect the availability or commercial potential of any product candidate, including the possibility that Vaxart’s product candidates may not be approved by the FDA or non-U.S. regulatory authorities; that, even if approved by the FDA or non-U.S. regulatory authorities, Vaxart’s product candidates may not achieve broad market acceptance; that a Vaxart collaborator may not attain development and commercial milestones; that Vaxart or its partners may experience manufacturing issues and delays due to events within, or outside of, Vaxart’s or its partners control, including the recent outbreak of Covid-19; difficulties in production, particularly in scaling up initial production, including difficulties with production costs and yields, quality control, including stability of the product candidate and quality assurance testing, shortages of qualified personnel or key raw materials, and compliance with strictly enforced federal, state, and foreign regulations; that Vaxart may not be able to obtain, maintain and enforce necessary patent and other intellectual property protection; that Vaxart’s capital resources may be inadequate; Vaxart’s ability to resolve pending legal matters; Vaxart’s ability to obtain sufficient capital to fund its operations on terms acceptable to Vaxart, if at all; the impact of government healthcare proposals and policies; competitive factors; and other risks described in the “Risk Factors” sections of Vaxart’s Quarterly and Annual Reports filed with the SEC. Vaxart does not assume any obligation to update any forward-looking statements, except as required by law.
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