The White House admitted on Tuesday (22) that it will not be able to meet the vaccination target stipulated by President Joe Biden, according to which 70% of American adults will receive at least one dose of the immunizing agent by now. July 4, when the country celebrates its independence.
According to a New York Times survey, the current rate of vaccination would allow the United States to reach 67% of partially immunized adults, just short of the Democrats’ target.
The discovery, however, is not significant, Jeff Zients, the White House’s pandemic response coordinator, said at a press conference. The numbers achieved so far, he said, indicate that the United States has built “an unprecedented and unprecedented nationwide immunization program.”
After the “remarkable achievement,” in Zients’ words, the goal is now to ensure that 70% of Americans aged 27 and over receive the first dose of the vaccine – the original goal was for all over. 18, a number that has been reached in 15 of the 50 states and the District of Columbia, where Washington is located.
The vaccination rate in the United States has increased by less than a percentage point in the past two weeks and is expected to more than double in the next two weeks for the country to meet the target set by Biden in May.
Among the obstacles to immunizing all Americans are the imbalance in immunization rates between different racial groups and the challenge of convincing a section of the population that refuses to receive the dose or is still undecided.
Young adults between the ages of 18 and 26 have been particularly difficult to convince, Zients said. “The reality is that many young Americans think Covid-19 is not something that affects them, and they are less eager to be vaccinated,” he said.
According to a survey by the Our World in Data portal, the United States has vaccinated with at least one dose 53.03% of its population. Those who are fully immunized — because they received both doses or the single dose vaccine — are 44.86%.
The application of immunizing agents has started slowly in the country, with an average of 900,000 vaccines applied per day between December and January. Between March and April, the campaign surged, and 4.63 million doses were applied on April 10, according to Our World in Data.
After this peak, however, the number goes down, and this second (21) 610 thousand doses were applied. Despite this, since February 23, a month after Biden’s inauguration, in just nine days the number of vaccines applied was less than 1 million, the lowest being on June 2 (508.6 thousand).
Vaccination rates are still high in some east and west coast states, such as New York and California, but remain low in the south and midwest, especially in the poorest and most rural areas of the country. Thus, there are fears that Americans’ lack of interest in getting vaccinated could lead to new records of cases and deaths. A Washington Post investigation in late May found that the rate of Covid cases among the unvaccinated in Washington state was at the same level as in January.
Another concern is the circulation of new variants, such as the delta, initially identified in India. “Its transmissibility is greater, and it can be associated with more serious cases,” warned Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, at a press conference earlier this month.
Until Tuesday, the United States remains at the top of the ranking of countries with the highest number of cases and deaths. There are 33.5 million confirmed infections and more than 602,000 deaths, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University, although the numbers decline as vaccination progresses.
The difficulty of convincing Americans to get vaccinated was already pointed out as one of the main challenges facing the current US president. In an interview with Folha at the end of April, Jonathan Hanson, professor of political science at the University of Michigan, said that the country is already reaching a point where “the problem will not be the lack of vaccines, but convincing people to if he is vaccinated “.
“Campaigns are underway, but a large part of the population is still skeptical about wearing masks and vaccination. The risk is that the virus will persist if we do not reach the stage of collective immunity”, had he said at the time.
Even during Donald Trump’s administration, the United States government allocated resources to advance vaccine development, which helped the United States to have a large stock of vaccines. By taking the White House, Biden, in turn, has accelerated the vaccination campaign, set rules for the use of masks and paid tribute to the victims of the pandemic on several occasions.
This large stockpile has created pressure for the country to give excess doses to less developed countries. Thus, the United States announced the shipment of 80 million doses.
According to the plan, around 75% of the doses are distributed through Covax, depending on the participation of each country in the consortium linked to the World Health Organization (WHO), while 25% are sent directly by the United States to the countries considered. as partners and who, according to the authorities of the Biden administration, are experiencing a very serious Covid epidemic.
In this package, the US government announced Monday that it will donate 14 million additional doses to Brazil and other Latin American countries. The new doses are in addition to the 6 million vaccines that, in early June, the White House had already announced it would send to the region, a small number given the 438 million inhabitants living in Latin American countries and of the Caribbean.
The sharing will be done via Covax, and Brazil will have to share the doses with Argentina, Colombia, Peru, Ecuador, Paraguay, Bolivia, Uruguay, Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, Haiti, the Dominican Republic, Panama, Costa Rica and other nations. of the Caribbean.