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Had It Been Covid-19 Oral Pill, More Americans Would Have Opted For Vaccination: Poll

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A third of those American adults now refusing to get vaccinated would get vaccinated if they could take a pill instead of getting the vaccine shot, according to a poll conducted by Quadrant Strategies and commissioned by biotechnology company Vaxart, Inc. A pill vaccine is expected to overcome vaccine resistance of millions of Americans.

According to the online national poll of 1,500 Americans over the age of 18, about 23 percent of respondents said they do not plan to get vaccinated. However, a third of them, translating to nearly 19 million Americans, said they will get vaccinated if a vaccine in the form of a pill was available instead of the jab.

"Vaccinating another 19 million American adults may help the US reach herd immunity," said Vaxart CEO Andrei Floroiu.

The survey found that though fear is found among all groups, nearly a quarter of the respondents said they are afraid of needles. Seven in 10 Americans prefer a pill to the jab. Seven in 10 Americans also said they prefer taking a pill at home rather than going somewhere to get vaccinated.

Floroiu added that 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.

This poll suggests that 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.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report, only 12 percent of Hispanics, 9 percent of Blacks, and 6 percent of Asians have received vaccines as of April 21, 2021.

Meanwhile, the poll also shows that eight in 10 Americans support speeding up the development of new vaccines that can respond more quickly to new virus strains as they appear as a majority are worried that current vaccine development can't keep up with the new strains.

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."

This survey could have been conducted by Vaxart to study the market acceptability for an oral tablet coronavirus vaccine as it recently completed the Phase 1 study of its oral tablet coronavirus vaccine.

The study reached primary and secondary endpoints of safety and immunogenicity, respectively. The oral COVID-19 tablet vaccine candidate, 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.

However, the trial results that were out in the first week of April showed that the vaccine tablet did not induce serum neutralizing antibodies. In most of the approved vaccines, neutralizing antibodies correlate to vaccine efficacy.

Vaxart had said it plans to explore VXA-CoV2-1 in phase II studies in COVID-19 naïve subjects to evaluate optimal dosing schedule and to then assess efficacy against COVID-19. VXA-CoV2-1 is also expected to be studied in previously vaccinated or exposed subjects to investigate single dose boosting protocol to broaden and strengthen immune response.

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