So few people have come to a COVID-19 vaccine in a county in North Carolina that hospitals there now allow anyone 16 or older to shoot, no matter where they live. “Take a shot, get a free donut,” said the governor.
Alabama, with the lowest vaccination rate in the country, has launched a campaign to convince people that shootings are safe. Doctors and pastors joined the effort.
At the national level, the Biden administration launched the We Can Do It campaign this week to encourage reserves to be vaccinated against the virus, which has claimed more than 550,000 lives in the United States.
The race continues to vaccinate as many people as possible, but most Americans still do not want to be photographed, even in places where they are plentiful. Twenty-five percent of Americans say they will probably or definitely not get vaccinated, according to a new poll by the Associated Press-NORC.
They are absurd about possible side effects. They tend to be Republican, և they are usually younger և less susceptible to serious illness or death if they catch COVID-19.
Although there was a slight shift when the biggest vaccination campaign in December started in the first weeks. An AP-NORC poll in late January found that 67% of American adults were ready to be vaccinated or had already received at least one shot. Now that figure has reached 75%.
According to experts, this brings the nation closer to herd immunity, which happens when enough people have immunity from vaccinations or previous infections to stop the uncontrolled spread of the disease.
75% to 85% of the general population, including children who are not currently recruited, should be vaccinated to obtain herd immunity.
Three months after the first dose was given, nearly 100 million Americans, or about 30% of the population, received at least one dose.
Andrea Richmond, a 26-year-old self-employed web coder in Atlanta, is among those whose resentment is easing. A few weeks ago, Richmond turned to avoid accident. Possible long-term setbacks worried him. He knew that the H1N1 vaccine used in Europe years ago increased the risk of narcolepsy.
Then his sister was vaccinated without any harmful effects. The opinion of Richmond’s friends also changed.
“They went from ‘I do not trust it’ to ‘I’m all shocked, let’s go out.'”
Her cancer survivor mother, with whom Richmond lives, wants her daughter to be vaccinated so much that she registered her online to beat her.
“I will probably finish it,” Richmond said. “I think it is my civic duty.”
But some continue to oppose it.
“I think I only had the flu once,” said Lori Mansour, 67, of Rockford, Illinois. “So I think I will use my opportunities.”
In a recent poll, Republicans were more likely than Democrats to say they would probably not or would not be vaccinated, compared with 36% for 12%. But they are a little more reluctant than the Republicans today. Back in January, 44% said they avoided the vaccine.
For some, the doubt remains. Vaccine, government or both.
“I have lost confidence in the governing bodies that run this,” said Richard Matic, 53, of Boca Raton, Florida. “There is just a lot to doubt that they are in the public interest, starting with the election, which I think was stolen.”
Matic does not doubt that the coronavirus is real. He got sick twice with it, endured vomiting, diarrhea, headaches, strange, recurring dreams of geometric shapes. But he said he would wait at least a year before taking the vaccine, taking the time to see if there were any negative side effects, to judge its effectiveness.
Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds, a Republican, is trying to win over a third of adult Iowans who will not be required to get the vaccine, stressing that the shooting will help bring life back to normal.
The Biden administration’s campaign features television and social media ads. Celebrities, community’s religious figures join the effort.
In Alabama, health officials targeted several districts with a message in support of their vaccines, recruiting doctors, shepherds, virtual meetings, and radio broadcasts. Dr. Karen Landers, Assistant Public Health Officer, said the efforts had yielded positive results and were likely to intensify.
Nearly 36% of North Carolina adults are at least partially vaccinated, according to state data. But in some parts of the country the demand has been much lower. Less than 1 in 6 people in the Cumberland area received at least one shot.
Concerned that there would be an unused surplus of vaccines, Cape Fear Valley Health Hospital systems last week opened staff for everyone 16 and older.
“Instead of using doses, we want to give more people the opportunity to get vaccinated,” said Chris Tart, Cape Firre Valley Health Vice President. “We hope this will encourage more people to get up.”
On Wednesday, Gov. Roy Cooper, a Democrat, tweeted a video of himself receiving a free cookie from Krispy Kreme. Customers who show their vaccine card can get a free donut for the rest of the year.
“Do it today, boys!” Cooper encouraged viewers.
Younger people are more likely to refuse to shoot. 31% of people under the age of 45 say they probably or definitely refuse to shoot. Only 12% of 60-year-olds say they will not be vaccinated.
Ronnie Peck, 40, a mother of three from Los Angeles, is one of those who plan to avoid vaccination, at least for now. He is concerned that the vaccines have not been studied for long-term health effects. He feels that some friends do not accept his position.
“But I stopped caring about whether I felt repressed, and instead learned to spend more time caring if I did the right thing for my children,” Peck said.
Deborah Fuller, a professor at the University of Washington School of Medicine, says that if it is not possible to achieve herd immunity soon, a more realistic target this summer could be vaccinating at least 50% of the population, and higher vaccination rates making the disease more vulnerable to reduce.
“In this scenario, the virus will continue to plague the population, but it will cease to be a major health threat to our health care system,” Fuller said.
Selsky reported from Salem, Oregon. This was reported by Fingerhut from Washington. Weber reported from Los Angeles. Associated Press writers Brian Anderson in Riley, North Carolina, and Ray Reeves in Birmingham, Alabama, also contributed to this story.
The AP-NORC survey of 1,166 adults was conducted March 26-29 using a sample of the NORC probability-based AmeriSpeak Panel designed to represent the U.S. population. For all respondents, the sampling error margin is plus or minus 3.6 percentage points.