The country’s vaccination efforts continue to face challenges, even as the highly transmissible Covid Delta variant is poised for dominance in the U.S.
Experts at Johns Hopkins School of Public Health say that misinformation and lack of access to vaccines are making it harder for certain groups to be vaccinated. Rupali Limaye from the university, who studies vaccine Hesitancy, said that “typically when we think about hesitancy we don’t think about it as an access point of view.” She said, “But, the situation in this pandemic that is currently underway, they are very intertwined.”
Limaye suggested that the distrust in the healthcare system may have been caused by the online nature of early vaccine drives. “Earlier in the pandemic, many older people gave up trying online to get an appointment, which created distrust in the entire system.”
Since April, vaccination rates have fallen dramatically. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 324,392 people received their Covid-19 vaccine for the first time on June 15. This is a seven-day average. This was the lowest average seven-day dose since December 29, 2020. This is despite the fact there are plenty of vaccines available. Some groups have easier access to vaccines than others.
Researchers found that the rates are particularly low among African Americans, Latinos, and Southerners, which is continuing to increase their risk. Lisa Cooper, who studies health inequality, said that “we know that acceptance rates are as high among African Americans as it is among whites.” This suggests that access plays a significant part in lower vaccination rates.
According to the CDC, 45.6% have been fully vaccinated so far and 53% have received their first dose. These numbers are lower than the government’s target. The Biden administration announced Wednesday that it will not reach its goal to get 70% of adults vaccinated against Covid-19 by July Fourth.
To prevent future outbreaks, it is important to increase vaccinations, especially as newer strains are emerging. The U.S. now has 20% of cases due to the Delta variant. It was first identified in India. It is more contagious, resistant to vaccines, and poses a greater risk of hospitalization than the Alpha variant. This was stated by Dr. Anthony Fauci, National Institutes of Health, at a White House Covid-19 briefing.
Fauci said that the new strain of Covid could cause serious illnesses in those who aren’t vaccinated.
Cooper stated that the government needs to find new distribution channels in order to increase vaccine coverage and prevent future outbreaks. Pop-up clinics and family vaccination drives are possible options. “Until we all are healthy, none of us will be in a position to stay healthy.