While health experts say a vaccine to prevent further coronavirus infection is needed to return life to normal, just over half of Americans say they would get vaccinated against the disease, a new poll found.

According to the survey, conducted by YouGov and Yahoo News , 55% of Americans said they will get vaccinated for the virus "if and when a coronavirus vaccine becomes available."

In contrast, 26% said they were "unsure" about whether they would get a vaccination, while 19% said they do not plan to be vaccinated at all.

The survey was conducted between May 4 and 5 and used a sample of 1,574 adults. It comes at a time when scientists are racing to find a vaccine for the virus, which has so far infected more than 5 million people worldwide.

At the time of writing, there are more than 100 potential coronavirus vaccines in development.

This week, the US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced that it would be working with the pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca to produce at least 400 million doses of AZD1222 a potential COVID-19 vaccine.

Meanwhile, the head of the Oxford Vaccine Group, Andrew Pollard, said on Friday that clinical trials of its coronavirus vaccine candidate were "progressing well."

While these breakthroughs have been significant, no vaccine is ready for publid deployment yet, and it will likely be some time before one is.

Similar sentiments about COVID-19 vaccination were echoed in another survey conducted by Reuters/Ipsos this week. The poll found that a quarter of Americans have little or no interest in being vaccinated against coronavirus.

However, a majority of respondents also said they would be heavily influenced if the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) or any large-scale scientific studies proved that the vaccine was safe.

The survey, which was taken between May 13 and May 19 and included 4,428 Americans, also showed that around 36% of Americans said they would be less willing to take a coronavirus vaccine if President Donald Trump said it was safe. Only 14% said they would be more interested.

On May 11, the National Institutes of Health stressed that a vaccine for COVID-19 will be "essential" in protecting the global community from the virus. Some health experts have admitted to being surprised by the survey numbers of people who would be willing to take a coronavirus vaccine.

Speaking about the recent Reuters survey, Dr. William Schaffner, an infectious disease and vaccine expert at Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville said: "It's a little lower than I thought it would be with all the attention to COVID-19. I would have expected somewhere around 75%."

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