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U.S. immunizations are slowing. What’s to blame?



As the country approaches 150 million vaccinated people, its rollout has slowed, signaling a new phase of a campaign in which supplies in many areas exceed demand. The average number of people who got their first or only dose each day was about 50 percent lower from their peak on April 13.

Average share of the U.S. population who received their first dose per day by the manufacturer.

Pfizer or Moderna

Johnson & Johnson

0 0.25 0.5%March 22May 3Johnson &
Johnson paused.

Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention | Note: Figures show a 7-day average by the reporting date rather than images of the date, so the pause published on April 13 does not affect data from that date. Johnson & Johnson vaccinations also appear in data throughout the pause, as vaccinations may be reported several days after exposure. Estimates for vaccination Pfizer and Moderna include vaccination in conjunction with an unknown manufacturer.

Immunizations fell sharply in the days after April 13, when health officials announced a temporary suspension of Johnson & Johnson vaccine to investigate reports of rare side effects and not yet fully recovered. Experts say an 11-day pause is responsible. But the data also showed slower bioavailability of Pfizer and Modena vaccines.

“It’s a factor. But it’s not the main factor, ”said Dr. Cyrus Shahpar, the White House’s Covid-19 information director, referring to the Johnson & Johnson shutdown.

Johnson & Johnson’s vaccine is making a comeback across the country. But it’s too early to tell how much rebound use of the vaccine will be. A monkey survey by Boston Children’s Hospital showed that willingness to accept Johnson & Johnson decreased during and after the pause, especially among women. But the interest in getting a single injection is slowly coming back.

Public health officials said the country’s slowdown was part of an inevitable rollout after reaching out to people eager to photograph in most states. The reduction can be seen in the data for those who want to shoot the first or second time. But also the total volume received, which peaked slightly above three million images per day before the pause took effect.

“The idea that this is going to be a linear increase and we are going to shoot one million shots a day, two million shots a day, three million shots a day, four, four and a half, then it will continue to increase at that rate. That is expected, ”said Ben Wakana, deputy communications director for the White House’s Covid-19 response team.“ We believe we are vaccinating millions of people a day. ”

An analysis of New York Times data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention showed more than a dozen states had banned or reduced Pfizer vaccinations and Moderna in early April.

These states include some states that open vaccinations to all adults at the beginning of the year, such as Arkansas, Kansas and Oklahoma. Southern states with large rural populations such as Louisiana and Mississippi. And effective early campaign locations such as North Dakota and West Virginia.

The median share of the state’s population receiving the first daily dose by the manufacturer.

In some states, Pfizer and Moderna vaccinations were reduced before Johnson & Johnson was paused on April 13.

Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention | Note: Figures represent 7-day averages based on reporting date rather than date images. For this reason, Johnson & Johnson vaccinations appear in the information throughout the pause period. Estimates for vaccination Pfizer and Moderna include vaccination in conjunction with an unknown manufacturer.

In contrast, some states that opened up to all adults on April 15 or later, including California, Hawaii, Massachusetts, Rhode Island and Vermont, showed increased use of Pfizer and Modern Na during. A few days after Johnson & Johnson paused, indicating the remaining demand, most of these states saw a subsequent decline.

In Connecticut, where Johnson & Johnson vaccines are particularly popular in mobile clinics, the three brands of vaccines have increased and decreased after Johnson & Johnson paused.

Josh Geballe, the chief operating officer of the state, said it was difficult to know with certainty what role the pause played, “it certainly didn’t help.”

“But we always anticipate we will begin to see a slowdown in late April,” he added, noting that more than two-thirds of the state’s eligible population received the first shot.

“You start without vaccinations,” he said. “It naturally starts to slow down.”

Mean share of first-dose population per day by age group

CDC data showed the decline since mid-April was the most severe for those aged 18 to 64 who were eligible for the vaccine in most states last month, more than 50 percent of this age group had not yet. Get vaccinated

Health experts and officials say there is much work to be done to reach unvaccinated adults.

Some people who are not immunized will refuse to be vaccinated, but others may have difficulty finding an appointment or have questions about the safety or efficacy of the vaccine, says Dr. Rahman. Niraf Shah, Director of the Maine Center, tells me about Disease Control and Prevention.

Officials across the country say they believe there is still a large population of people who will be vaccinated if they receive support and more information from reliable messengers such as regular doctors.

“We have to be in the community, ask the community what is right for them, and keep that status,” said Alabama assistant health worker Dr. Karen Landers. “We don’t give up,” she added.

And this task, to make vaccination more convenient, answering questions and receiving messages will take some time. Shah said.

“No project in human history has been as fast as the second half,” he said.


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