The United States is on the verge of a vaccine surplus
The United States has so far administered more than 118 million doses of covid-19 vaccine, with millions more being injected every day. So far, the demand of people desperate for a vaccine has exceeded the supply of drugs, and when vaccine appointments are released, they are quickly taken care of.
But jurisdictions across the country may soon face the opposite problem.
As production ramps up, the United States will soon have many more doses – and not enough people who want them. The change will be rapid: Rochelle Walensky, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, believes that supply and demand could change “in the weeks or months to come”. Walmart, a leading vaccine distributor across the country, said the turnaround can occur within one month to 45 days.
In some states, the shift from scarcity to abundance is already here. In Idaho, where 20% of people have been vaccinated at least once, many appointments have unfilled party, which prompted state officials to increase eligibility earlier than expected. The state plans to open appointments to these 55 and over from March 22.
In a March 16 media briefingIdaho officials said they made appointments available to 200,000 people or more every two weeks. They are hoping that many Idahoans who have hesitated to get vaccinated will start lining up now that the deployment is more advanced.
Meanwhile, some Native American communities are weeks ahead of any U.S. state when it comes to vaccine delivery. The Chickasaw Nation, for example, has successfully immunized so many of its 38,000 residents that it now offers vaccines to everyone 16 years of age and older – and even to the general public in Oklahoma.
All of this means America is heading to the point at which so many are resistant to the virus that it is becoming much more difficult to spread. President Biden has set a goal that all states should be able to make every adult eligible for vaccination by May 1 (as for what may remain, the administration plans to send millions of excess doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine in Canada and Mexico to fill their supply gaps.) Medical experts believe we will need a vaccination rate of around 80% to reach the point where infections are drastically reduced in the United States, and projections show that 70% of Americans will be vaccinated at the end of June.
But these projections assume that everyone who is eligible will take a vaccine. A recent study by Pew estimates, however, that only 69% of Americans want a shot. This means that reaching the threshold will require some effort to understand why the “maybes” hesitate and how their minds might be changed.
Understand the hesitant
The data collected by the Delphi Group at Carnegie Mellon University could offer a roadmap for the months to come. In a survey of more than 1.9 million Americans, researchers found that although a growing proportion of people have been vaccinated or are willing to do so, about a quarter of unvaccinated adults are still hesitant. Alex Reinhart, assistant professor of statistics and data science at Carnegie Mellon, hopes the research on who is hesitant – and why – might help officials focus their efforts.
For example, the Delphi team found that confidence in vaccines varied geographically. In southern states like Alabama, Mississippi, Georgia and Louisiana, as well as North Dakota and Wyoming, respondents were more likely to say they probably or definitely would not accept a vaccine. it was offered.