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It takes effort and patience. But as eligibility opens up to millions across the United States after months of fierce competition for Covid-19 vaccines, vaccines are starting to pour into people’s arms.
Becky Jacobsen, 41, was ready to drive up to an hour for a shot as soon as Connecticut made all adults eligible on Thursday. A friend stayed up late to make an appointment at a CVS Health Corp pharmacy. only 10 km from Jacobsen’s home in Windsor.
“Another friend is looking for my husband,” the mother of five said over the phone as the children screamed in the background. “It’s distance education day and I need to do my best to make sure the kids aren’t on YouTube when they’re supposed to be on Google Classroom.”
President Joe Biden has banked his bid on an effective battle against the coronavirus that would center on mitigation measures and helping states disperse vaccines quickly. States are offering photos to millions of people who want to come back to life as it was before Covid, and officials in charge report the campaign is taking shape.
Progress offers hope that most adults will be vaccinated this summer before attention turns to children. Positive data from partners Pfizer Inc. and BioNTech SE this week could position Children from 12 to 15 years old for a photo before the next school year.
Nearly 100 million people, or nearly a third of the U.S. population, have already received at least one vaccine, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The United States has administered more doses than any other country, although it ranks seventh in terms of the percentage of the population having at least one dose, according to the Bloomberg Vaccine Tracking.
Nearly half of U.S. states will have opened vaccination to all ages 16 and over by the end of this week. That will grow to about three-quarters, or 35 states, by the end of next week.
Millions of additional doses are distributed each week. Moderna Inc. and Pfizer-BioNTech are both on track to deliver enough vaccine to immunize 100 million people in the United States by the end of May, according to the Bloomberg Vaccine Tracker.
While some 15 million The Johnson & Johnson shots were affected by a production issue in Baltimore, which should not have an effect on Biden’s expectations that the United States will have enough vaccines for all adults in May, according to people familiar with the matter. Likewise, delays in the authorization of the United States AstraZeneca Plc’s vaccine, which still has concerns about side effects, is unlikely to affect the US campaign.
The floodgates are starting to open in Los Angeles where locals have begged, borrowed and stolen for dates. Some people have expressed their surprise on social media at how simple it has become.
“I just made an appointment for Wednesday,” Comedy author and photographer Matt Oswalt wrote on Twitter this week. “It took 2 minutes to book it. Easy, they have tons of slots open. “
Not everyone is so lucky. Judith Romano of Ashland, Mass., Received her first of two Pfizer injections Thursday at a Boston clinic, but said her husband, a grocery clerk in his late 50s, was still unable to schedule one through the state registration system.
“He tried, tried, tried,” she says. “People say, ‘Oh, you have to get up to four in the morning and wait.’ But this is silly. Why should you do this? “
Whenever her husband fails to secure a spot, “he swears,” she says.
Alabama remains one of the slowest states in the United States to get vaccines into the guns. But its performance improved, especially in poor minority areas that did not receive doses in the first weeks of the campaign.
Alabama Regional Medical Services, a low-income clinic in north Birmingham, did not receive a single dose at the end of February. In March, however, it received nearly 5,000 from the state, said Chris Mosley, a spokesperson for the clinic.
This change is in part because the state has relaxed guidelines to include essential workers – many of whom are minorities – but in large part because of coordination with community groups, Mosley said.
“Now the vaccination sites are sprouting like spring flowers,” he said. “It has become almost a friendly competition, to see who can give the most.”
Read more: How the United States gets vaccinated to get out of the pandemic
The region now has two mass vaccination sites, one inside an airport. People have also learned to be patient, Mosley said.
When the Alabama clinic drew a crowd of 350 for its first 200 doses, 11 disabled men living in a nearby group home were among those turned down. They got the shot last week, “after a year of being locked up, nowhere to go,” Mosley said. That night their caregiver called Mosley and lifted the phone.
“Thank you,” the 11 shouted in unison.
Proceed with caution
Some states still proceed with caution. New Jersey has so far held firm to its May 1 expansion date despite neighboring New York City qualifying all adults on April 6. New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy acknowledged that the state’s immunization planning website would be strained.
“When you add a new group of people, you add, at least temporarily, to the imbalance between supply and demand,” he said in a briefing on Wednesday, “but I’m confident the system will hold up. well.
Pennsylvania has scheduled universal eligibility for April 19, but Philadelphia, which receives its own supply, plans to stick to its May 1 date, said James Garrow, a spokesperson for the Department of Public Health. of the city, in an e-mail.
Alabama health officials are in talks with the governor’s office whether the state can offer the vaccination to every adult before May 1, the deadline set by Biden, the deputy health official said. of State Karen Landers.
“We recognize that we might have bottlenecks, but at the same time, we are worried about our citizens who want the vaccine to be able to receive it,” she said in an interview.
People need to understand that the supply will not magically increase, Washington State Secretary of Health Umair Shah said in a briefing Thursday. Some learn this firsthand.
Jacobsen felt the pressure when Connecticut allowed her and all the other adults to get vaccinated. She couldn’t stay glued to her phone as she was busy dealing with five children aged 4 to 13, who might also take some time to get vaccinated.
“This feels chaotic and scary, ”Jacobsen said. “If you get an appointment, you feel fortunate. I don’t doubt everyone gets it at some point, but it’s kind of like a mad rush for food in a soup line or something. I’m trying to think of the best way to describe it. It’s just annoying.
– With assistance from Margaret Newkirk, Elise Young, Carey Goldberg and Christopher Palmeri