While a popular model projected that the United States will likely reach its Covid-19 vaccination goals for the summer, vaccine hesitancy and variants could still cause a spike in the winter, according to the model.
Officials are scrambling to convince Americans to get vaccinated and help India achieve herd immunity before vaccine-resistant variants appear and reach the United States as more variants are discovered across the world, such as B.1.617, which has triggered an increase in cases in India.
According to the University of Washington’s Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation, virus transmission can “rapidly and explosively” increase in certain circumstances (IHME).
Pfizer/BioNTech revealed on Friday morning that it has started the process of obtaining complete approval from the US Food and Drug Administration for its vaccine for people aged 16 and up. This is the first Covid-19 vaccine to be evaluated by the FDA for complete approval in the United States.
The FDA has granted Pfizer’s mRNA two-shot vaccine emergency use permission, and full approval could benefit people who have been putting off getting vaccinated.
According to CNN medical analyst Megan Ranney, full acceptance “takes away one of the drivers of hesitancy in so many Americans” to get vaccinated.
“We as scientists have been trying to reassure folks that these vaccines are safe, as well as effective, but once something gets full FDA approval, there’s no more argument,” Ranney said.
“It also allows businesses and universities and schools to start to insist on vaccination with a little more confidence,” she said.
President Joe Biden declared on Tuesday that by July 4, 70 per cent of the adult population in the United States would have received at least one dose of the Covid-19 vaccine.
According to the IHME, the target will be met by the end of May. According to the modellers, 185 million Americans, or about 88 per cent of the adult population, will be vaccinated by September. Following that, demand is expected to decline as the United States encounters a wall of people who are reluctant to receive the vaccine, according to the researchers.
Officials and health experts are working to overcome vaccine apprehension and meet the 70 per cent to 85 per cent of the population who need to be resilient to the virus, either by vaccination or prior infection to keep it from spreading.
According to data released Friday by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, nearly 111 million people, or 33.4 per cent of the US population, are completely vaccinated, and nearly 45 per cent of the population, or more than 150 million people, have received at least one dose of the Covid-19 vaccine.
According to the CDC, 254,779,333 doses of the Covid-19 vaccine have been administered, accounting for around 78 per cent of the total doses delivered of 327,124,625 doses.
The Kaiser Family Foundation said Thursday that cash incentives, workplace clinics, and mandatory vaccinations before travel or major events might motivate more people to get vaccines.
According to the survey, three out of ten adults who don’t want to get vaccinated right away said they would be more likely to get vaccinated if it was provided anywhere they already go for health care or if they just required one dose. It polled 2,097 adults in the United States from April 15 to April 29.
In addition, as the United States prepares for the planned emergency use authorization of Pfizer/Covid-19 BioNTech’s vaccine for use in 12-to-15-year-olds next week, the Kaiser Family Foundation discovered that 19 percent of parents have decided not to vaccinate their children.
KFF notes that “parents’ intentions for vaccinating their children against Covid-19 largely line up with their own vaccination experiences and intentions.”
Many authorities are reducing their efforts to avoid the virus’ spread as vaccine demand and confirmed cases decline.
Gov. Mike Parson confirmed Thursday that the Missouri National Guard has started to reduce its presence at mass vaccination sites.
“In the beginning, vaccine demand far outweighed vaccine supply. Now, we are seeing the reverse of that, and the need for large scale vaccination events has lessened,” Parson said.
Gov. Tim Walz of Minnesota announced a timeline for the removal of Covid-19 limits, including the state mask mandate.
“So our path forward is pretty clear. Minnesota now, the next three weeks really, it’s on you to get the vaccines,” Walz said. “It’s on you to talk to your neighbours. It’s on you to talk to your doctors. We have them available. They’re out there. Every single one who gets that pushes us further.”
Vaccine officials say a booster could be needed in the coming year, so the initial doses may not be enough.
“Reinfections will happen at some point, and the best way to ensure that we do not have renewed outbreaks in well-vaccinated countries is to boost and maintain the highest possible levels of neutralizing immunity,” Dr Stephen Hoge, president of the pharmaceutical company Moderna, said Thursday.
A booster shot of Moderna’s vaccine, the B.1.351 variant first seen in South Africa and the P.1 variant first seen in Brazil, boosts the immune response to two concerning coronavirus strains, according to the company.
According to Ozlem Tureci, co-founder and chief medical officer of BioNTech, a waning immune response in people naturally infected with the virus indicates the need for boosters.
According to Pfizer/BioNTech, evidence indicates a 90% effectiveness rate for symptomatic disease prevention, according to Tureci.
“The good news is that the mRNA technology allows frequent boosters,” she said.