A poll published yesterday from Monmouth University found that 1 in 5 Americans remain unwilling to get the COVID-19 vaccine.
Partisanship continues to be the defining factor determining which Americans are willing to get vaccinated and which are not: 43% of Republicans say they will avoid the vaccine, compared with just 5% of Democrats, and 22% of independents say they want to avoid getting the vaccine altogether.
A new Quinnipiac University poll shows 45% of Republicans are unwilling to get the vaccine. A poll from the University of Michigan also suggests age may be a factor. Only 20% of teens and young adults polled last October said they were unwilling to get vaccinated, and that percentage shrank to 15% last month.
The polls underscore the uphill battle the United States will have to reach herd immunity, despite a robust vaccine rollout that is seeing 3 million plus shots administered per day. Experts estimate around 70% of Americans will need to be vaccinated or infected to produce herd immunity.
And the polls were conducted before federal agencies put the Johnson & Johnson vaccine on pause, as they determine whether or not or to what extent that vaccine contributed to a rare type of blood clot. Many fear the pause will contribute to vaccine hesitation and distrust.
Feds buy 1.2 billion doses of vaccine
A new report from the Government Accountability Office (GAO) shows that, as of Apr 1, the United States had bought 1.2 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines, and is on track to have enough available doses to inoculate all US adults by the end of May.
The GAO said the federal government must continue to improve communication about federally run vaccination sites, especially as eligibility opens to all Americans over the age of 16 next Monday.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) COVID Data Tracker shows 255,400,665 COVID-19 vaccine doses have been delivered in the US, and 198,317,040 have been administered, with 78,498,290 Americans fully vaccinated.
Among those who have been fully vaccinated, the CDC has identified approximately 5,800 cases of COVID-19, the Wall Street Journal reports. The cases that have been reported come from 40 states.
That number represents 0.008% of the fully vaccinated population, and is in line with estimates based on vaccine efficacy rates.
The former head of the Food and Drug Administration, Scott Gottlieb, MD, said he fears America is approaching the place where vaccine supply will outweigh demand, and he fears the country will struggle to vaccinate half of the US adult population.
“I think we get to 150 million vaccines. I think we struggle to get to 160 million,” he said during an interview with National Public Radio. “Beyond that, I think it’s going to be difficult. I’m not sure that you have the demand there.”
Infections rise in Puerto Rico
The United States reported 75,375 new COVID-19 cases yesterday, and 956 deaths, according to the Johns Hopkins COVID-19 tracker. In total, the United States has 31,458,323 COVID-19 cases, including 547,747 deaths.
According to the New York Times, Puerto Rico is experiencing an uptick of COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations, reporting an average of 1,019 new cases a day, up from 211 a month ago. Vaccine rollout has also lagged.
Last week, the island said it was shutting down in-person learning again, and Gov. Pedro Pierluisi implemented a 9 pm curfew for bars and restaurants, along with a new ban on mass gatherings.
Michigan remains the worst hotspot in the United States. Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan said yesterday that the city is in real danger from COVID-19 again, and that things are likely to get worse, Michigan Radio reports. The city’s test positivity rate is now over 20%.