500 million doses of vaccine are coming to the US manufacturers, “can fill a swimming pool with a volume of 208,000 liters” as USA Today says.
President Joe Biden said on 3/3 that it is expected that by the end of May, the US will have enough vaccines for all adults, two months earlier than expected. Before that, he committed 400 million doses of Covid-19 vaccine to the Americans before the said time.
On March 10, President Biden announced the purchase of an additional 100 million doses of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine by the end of this year. These vaccines will be given to children and repeated to deal with new virus variants. “If there is an excess of vaccines, we will share them with other countries,” Mr. Biden said.
Experts say that with the plentiful number of vaccines, the government needs to quickly persuade people to vaccinate. If not, the amount of vaccine left in stock could threaten the anti-epidemic department.
According to Bernadette Boden-Albala, head of public health at the University of California, there will be a vaccine surplus in some places as early as April. Many people do not want to inject, “Ms. Boden-Albala said. Other issues that hamper vaccination such as registration system overload are in place.
To address these challenges, many experts believe that the first solution is to encourage Americans to vaccinate through propaganda. The most accessible group were those who wanted to get the Covid-19 vaccine but were afraid to register because of problems arising from the process. With this group, it is important to emphasize the message of fast, easy and free immunization, says Christopher Morse, a health communication specialist at Bryant University in Smithfield, Rhode Island. According to him, it should not be declared that we have a ton of vaccines, because then people will hesitate.
States also need to ensure there are adequate vaccination sites and staff, and collect data from injection users to monitor for side effects. Minnesota is poised to double the number of mass vaccination points, according to Kris Ehresmann, the state’s director of infectious diseases. New York is looking for 2,000 more workers to vaccinate and do other jobs. Hiring began in some of the hardest hit communities, including Staten Island and the Bronx. In California, the Orange County government sends an eight-member vaccination team to homeless camps, prisons and other inaccessible groups.
The government is transferring more doses of vaccine to retail pharmacies. This is a policy that dates back to the Trump era, but has only been implemented in February. Of the 133,000 vaccine distributors nationwide, about 53,000 are pharmacies.
One question arises if the United States has an excess of Covid-19 vaccine, what will it do? Thomas Bollyky, director of the global health program at the Council on Foreign Relations, said the country could help other countries for medical and political reasons.
The epidemic has no borders. If Covid-19 continues to rage elsewhere, the US will still be at risk. Most rich countries have already started vaccinating people, while only 4 out of 29 lowest income countries do.
While the US is giving vaccines to people in the country, Russia and China provide vaccines to other countries. “There are reports that the Biden administration is considering donating vaccines to Asia in response to China’s increased influence through vaccine funding,” Bollyky said.
According to Dr. Kelly Moore, deputy director of the Nonprofit Immunization Action Coalition, helping poor countries not only score politically, but also help protect Americans from disease. “Viruses get up when we get caught off guard or allow many unvaccinated people to travel between countries,” she said.
Mai Dung (Follow Washington Post, USA Today)