Demographics, the presence of Covid variants, use of masks, social distancing, and weather can all contribute to the spread of the virus, which is why even some areas with very low vaccination rates are not seeing any epidemics. In Alabama, the the infection rate is relatively stable, helped in part by the warm temperatures which have brought more people outside.
But demand for vaccines has hit a wall in this state, leaving communities most resistant to vaccines or those with least access to them particularly vulnerable.
Scott Harris, Alabama public health official, said States with higher poverty rates and less public health infrastructure have trouble giving the vaccine. In his state, he asked doctors in rural white communities to use their cell phones to make videos encouraging their patients to get vaccinated.
“For this particular demographic, they don’t trust the government, they don’t trust the public health, the media, the politicians,” he said. “They trust their own doctors.”
“We will be dealing with clusters of this disease in the future,” said Shereef Elnahal, CEO of Newark University Hospital, NJ, and former state health commissioner. “Right now, the most hesitant group is the white conservatives and they could be most at risk in the future.”
The Biden administration is trying to close the gap by also working with primary care physicians and encouraging states and communities to create walk-in sites, with the goal of making vaccinations as convenient as possible for the dozens. millions of people who are not against the vaccine. but don’t look for one.
“We have always anticipated that the higher our percentage of people vaccinated, the more difficult it would become,” said the senior administration official working on the Covid response.
Within the administration, the country is hardly expected to return to the 4 million shots per day levels officials celebrated earlier this year, aside from when eligibility is extended to young people. teenagers, as expected. But officials also insist there is no panic about the slowdown or deviations. Almost 40% of American adults are fully immunized, and millions of additional doses are given each week.
“The gross number of people receiving vaccines is almost the same who come to Dunkin ‘Donuts every day,” the senior administration official said.
Still, some Biden surrogates and health experts have urged the administration to be more explicit about how quickly people can resume their normal lives once vaccinated, which could prove to be a crucial incentive for those who are simply less motivated. , especially younger men. Last week, the CDC relaxed its mask guidelines for those vaccinated after many public health experts complained that the administration was not acting fast enough.
“The default setting needs to be more optimistic,” said Juliette Kayyem, an Obama-era homeland security official who advises states on their Covid responses. “We have to have a ‘life is wonderful on the other side’ attitude.”
But White House officials also know that these moments are not yet accessible to everyone.
“We are giving millions of hits a day, so it’s no surprise that there is more balance between supply and demand,” said Jeff Zients, House’s Covid-19 response coordinator. Blanche, during a briefing on Friday. “So it’s more important to make it easier for people to vaccinate.”