The rate of vaccination against COVID-19 has slowed down in USA, where supply exceeds demand in some areas and the authorities warn of a “serious risk” if they fail to convince the most skeptical of receiving the puncture.
With more than half of the nation’s adults inoculated with at least one dose, the weekly average number of vaccines administered fell to 2.86 million doses a day on Friday, compared to 3.38 million the previous week, according to a analysis of official data carried out by The New York Times newspaper.
The number of vaccines supplied per day is still remarkable, but that decrease has been enough for some mass vaccination centers in states such as Florida, Texas and Ohio to announce their upcoming closure due to lack of demand.
DOUBTS AMONG 40% OF THE POPULATION
The trend worries the health authorities of the United States, where 40% of the population has doubts about getting the vaccine or directly refuses to receive it (22%), according to a survey published this Sunday by the CBS network.
That percentage has dropped since the start of the vaccination campaign in December, but the authorities still fear that it will make it difficult to reach the goal of group immunity, key to resuming normality and avoiding new mutations of the virus.
“We have a serious risk” of not reaching that goal, said this Sunday the director of the US National Institutes of Health (NIH, in English), Francis Collins, during an interview with NBC News.
Group immunity -he specified- implies having “70 or 85%” of the population vaccinated, compared to 28% who are fully immunized now, according to the latest data from the country’s Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). , in English).
“There are places that are far behind in terms of vaccination, and those are the places that worry us because they may be the next hotbeds” of outbreaks, Collins said.
THE “ENTHUSIASM” FOR THE VACCINE IS EXHAUSTED
The Kaiser Foundation, which specializes in health, estimated this week that, if there are no changes in the levels of “enthusiasm” generated by the prospect of getting vaccinated, at the beginning of May, at least one dose will have been given to all adults in the country who want to receive it.
The vaccine is already available starting this week for all adults in the country, but demand is declining in some areas, especially in the south and mountainous west of the country.
It is precisely those areas in which there is the most skepticism about vaccines, according to a March survey by the US Census Bureau, which concluded that the states where the fewest people want to be inoculated are Wyoming, Montana, North Dakota. , Idaho, Oklahoma, Louisiana and Alabama.
According to the same poll, the racial gaps in skepticism about vaccines are no longer as wide as a few months ago, when many more African-Americans were reluctant to get them: now, 16% of those who doubt are white, 18.5 % are black, 13.3% are Latino, and 24% are biracial.
The differences are now, above all, in age and educational level: young people doubt more – 40% of those who resist are under 39 years old – and only 8% of university graduates express any reluctance.
DOES THE J&J PAUSE INFLUENCE?
It is not yet clear whether this month’s pause in injectable vaccination by Janssen, the Belgian affiliate of Johnson & Johnson (J&J), may contribute to reinforcing the fears of those who hesitate to get vaccinated, including 54% of voters. Republicans, according to the poll.
Many states and localities in the country vaccinated again this Saturday with J&J, a day after the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) gave the green light to the resumption of its use.
The pause in the use of this vaccine in the United States lasted eleven days and was motivated by the detection of several cases of thrombosis in women who had received it, a total of 15 patients, of which three died and seven remain hospitalized.
Authorities have stressed that those who opt for the J&J vaccine will receive a paper warning about its potential risks, but insist that the product is safe.
“I think people are going to realize that we take safety very seriously, and we are trying to combat the doubts about the vaccine that still persist,” said the country’s leading epidemiologist, Anthony Fauci, in an interview this Sunday. with ABC News.
NO SECOND DOSE
Vaccination with the other two injectables approved in the United States, Pfizer and Moderna, has also raised an unexpected concern for authorities: Some Americans are not showing up for the second dose.
More than five million people, almost 8% of those who received a first dose of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines, did not show up to their appointments to get the second, according to data from the CDC published this Sunday in the New York Times.
Some did not do it because they feared the secondary effects of the second dose, which are usually stronger than those of the first, and others believed that they could be sufficiently protected with a single puncture, according to interviews conducted by the New York newspaper.