May 9, 2021

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The Feds are rethinking a vaccination strategy as a slowdown in demand reveals a stark divide



Demographics, the presence of Covid variants, the use of masks, social distancing and the weather can all contribute to how the virus spreads, which is why even some areas with very low vaccination rates do not experience outbreaks. In Alabama The infection rate is relatively stable, partly aided by warmer temperatures that have brought more people outside.

But demand for the vaccine hit a wall in that case, leaving communities most resistant to bullets or those without access to the vaccine in particular.

These are said by Scott Harris, Alabama’s public health official Countries with high poverty rates And less public health infrastructure They are struggling to get the vaccine. In his state, he would ask doctors in white, rural communities to use their cell phones to shoot videos encouraging their patients to get vaccinated.

“With regard to this particular demographic, they do not trust the government, and they do not trust public health, the media and the politicians,” he said. “They trust their doctors.”

“We will deal with groups of this disease in the future,” said Sherif El-Nahal, chief executive of University Hospital in Newark, New Jersey and former state health commissioner. “Right now, the most reluctant group is the white conservatives and they may be most at risk in the future.”

The Biden administration is trying to narrow the gap by also working with primary care physicians and encouraging states and localities to establish follow-up sites, in an effort to make vaccinations as comfortable as possible for the tens of millions who are not averse to getting an injection. But just don’t look for one.

“We had always expected that the higher the percentage of people getting the vaccination, the more difficult it would be,” said the senior administration official working on the Covid response.

Within the administration, there is little expectation that the country will return to the levels of 4 million rounds the day officials celebrated earlier this year, outside of when eligibility for younger teens is expanded, as was expected. But officials also insist there is no fear of a slowdown or gaps. Nearly 40 percent of adults in the United States are fully vaccinated and millions of additional doses are given each week.

“The initial number of people who take shots is about the same as those who go to Dunkin ‘Donuts every day,” said the senior administration official.

However, some Biden replacements and health experts have pressed management to be more clear about how quickly people can return to their normal lives once they are vaccinated, which could be a crucial incentive for those who are simply less motivated. Especially younger men. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) last week lowered their mask guidance for people who have been vaccinated after several public health experts complained that the department was not moving fast enough.

“The default setting should be more optimistic,” said Juliet Kaim, the Obama-era homeland security official who advises countries on responses to the Covid virus. “We must have the attitude of ‘Life is wonderful on the other side’.”

But White House officials also know that those moments are not yet available to everyone.

“We’re giving millions of shots every day, so it’s not unexpected that there will be more balance between supply and demand,” Jeff Zents, the White House Covid-19 Response Coordinator, said during a briefing on Friday. This makes it even more important to make it easier for people to be vaccinated.