Declining demand for Covid-19 vaccines in the United States is pushing states across the country to deny all of their dose allocations from the federal government, despite concerted efforts to increase national adoption rates.
The reduction in demand, which is contributing to a growing supply of doses, comes from the fact that nearly 46% of the U.S. population has received at least one dose of a two-dose vaccine and about 34% are fully vaccinated, according to the CDC.
Last week, Joe Biden announced a plan to deliver at least one dose of vaccine to 70% of the country’s adult population by July 4 – a date also announced for a full reopening of economic and social interaction. from America.
But on Saturday, hours before a pre-recorded message from Biden to a Global Citizen Vax Live event, it was reported that the country’s vaccination rate had fallen to 2 million shots per day – a 20% decrease from the week previous.
Vaccination rates are still below the 70-85% of the total population who must be immunized to control the spread of Covid-19.
Last week, Dr.Anthony Fauci, the White House’s chief medical adviser, said he had abandoned “this mystical level of herd immunity,” a notion of collective resistance to disease that could arise when around 70% of the population would have been vaccinated.
Reports that many states are asking the Biden administration to send them only a fraction of their allocations are a clear indication of the continued reluctance to vaccines in the United States.
According to the Associated Press, Wisconsin health officials only requested 8% of the 162,680 doses reserved for the state next week. Julie Willems Van Dijk, head of the state’s health department, said demand was softening and vaccinators were cutting existing stocks before ordering more doses.
Iowa health officials have asked for 29% of the state’s allocation. Kansas officials have asked for 9% because the state has about 647,000 doses on hand; and Illinois officials say the state has five weeks of doses and plans to reduce its demand, also to 9%. Similar trends were reported by Connecticut – 26% – and South Carolina, 21%. North Carolina and Washington reduced their requests by 40%.
But some states maintain full orders, including Maryland and Colorado. New York City is taking all of its quota as the number of daily vaccines administered has fallen by about 40% from a peak in mid-April.
“We have the demand to continue to effectively use our offer,” said the mayor of the city, Bill de Blasio.
The drop in orders comes as the Biden administration announced this week that if states do not order all of their allocated vaccines, the surplus will be sent to other states with higher demand.
The oversupply from the United States comes as countries suffering from worsening Covid infections, including India, or those with little access to vaccine supplies, ask the Biden administration to release vaccine stocks.
European countries on Friday offered a cool response to a US-backed proposal to waive patent rights to coronavirus vaccines.
Emmanuel Macron, the French president, said the issue of patent sharing was not the issue of the day, and called on Britain and the United States for blocking the export of vaccines and their ingredients to the world, Reuters reported.
At the same time, U.S. disease specialists are considering a possible increase in infections next winter and the possibility that seasonal vaccine boosters will be needed. “We want to hope for the best and prepare for the worst,” CDC director Dr Rochelle Walensky said in an Instagram interview with actor Jennifer Garner, CNN reported.
“We’re doing boosters studies to see if we’ll need them, and it’s six months, a year, two years – we don’t really know,” Walensky said. “But we want to be prepared for them if we need to.”
Preparations for the seasonal booster shots, however, go beyond the immediate attention of health officials and political leaders to vaccine reluctance that turns into outright refusal.
A Census Bureau investigation found that a quarter of adults in Wyoming said they would “definitely not” or “probably not” receive the Covid-19 vaccine. In Montana, North Dakota, Kentucky, and Ohio, more than 20% of adults said the same.
In Wyoming, which has become a hotspot for hesitation, only 45% of adults have received at least one dose. Similar rates of vaccine uptake are observed in Mississippi, Alabama, Louisiana, Tennessee and West Virginia. Although the reasons for the reluctance to vaccinate vary widely, it is particularly prevalent among political conservatives and this is reflected in the more hesitant states that support Republicans.
In North Carolina, health officials are said to consider paying younger people to be vaccinated, while West Virginia has offered a $ 100 savings bond for people between 16 and 35 to get the shot. Detroit also offered to pay people $ 50 for each resident of the city they sign up and then deliver for a photo.
Dr Joshua Sharfstein, associate dean of Johns Hopkins University, told ABC News he is “not desperate” that the herd immunity mirage is gone. “Collective immunity is not necessarily a time when the music is playing and the sun is shining. It’s about how easily the virus spreads in a community, and I think there’s a lot more to be done. “