MADISON, Wis. (AP) — States asked the federal government this week to withhold staggering amounts of COVID-19 vaccine amid plummeting demand for the shots, contributing to a growing U.S. stockpile of doses.
From South Carolina to Washington, states are requesting the Biden administration send them only a fraction of what’s been allocated to them. The turned-down vaccines amount to hundreds of thousands of doses this week alone, providing a stark illustration of the problem of vaccine hesitancy in the U.S.
More than 150 million Americans — about 57% of the adult population — have received at least one dose of vaccine, but government leaders from the Biden administration down to the city and county level are doing everything they can to persuade the rest of the country to get inoculated.
U.S. Surgeon General Vivek Murthy said Friday that the federal government has dedicated $250 million for community organizations to promote vaccinations, make appointments and provide transportation.
He cited examples such as holding conversations with small groups of people in minority communities in St. Louis and asking Rhode Island churches to contact community members and offer them rides to vaccination sites. He also noted that a global Hindu American organization has turned temples into vaccination centers, making it easier for elderly members to get shots in a familiar setting. The Indianapolis Motor Speedway has added a vaccination site in which people can get their shots in a Formula 1 garage near the race tunnels.
The Biden administration announced this week that if states don’t order all the vaccine they’ve been allotted, the administration will shift the surplus to meet demand in other states.
In another sign of the burgeoning national surplus, Biden announced last week that his administration would share the nation’s entire stock of AstraZeneca doses with the world once it clears safety reviews.
The huge supply and dwindling demand has highlighted the vast inequalities during the pandemic, with countries like India buckling under a disastrous surge of the virus and other nations having no doses at all. At the same time, wealthy countries like the U.S. are awash in vaccine, and seeing cases and deaths plunge as a result.
The federal government allocates vaccines to each state based on their population size, and then it’s up to the states to decide how many doses they want to order every week. Early on, states routinely asked for the full allocation —- and were clamoring for more shots — but now they are scaling back requests.
Wisconsin officials have asked for just 8% of the 162,680 doses the federal government had set aside for the state next week. Julie Willems Van Dijk, the state health department’s deputy secretary, acknowledged earlier that demand is softening and vaccinators are drawing down existing inventories before ordering more doses.
In Iowa, officials have asked the federal government for 29% of that state’s allocated doses next week. Kansas officials asked for less than 9% of their 162,000-dose allotment this past week. Counties have been turning down doses as demand plummets, leaving the state with a stockpile of almost 647,000 doses.
Melaney Arnold, a spokeswoman for the Illinois Department of Public Health, said the state has five weeks’ worth of doses on hand. Last week, state officials for the first time requested fewer doses than allotted because of declining demand. The state plans to request just 9% of its allotted doses for everywhere but Chicago for next week.
Connecticut has requested 26% of its allotment for next week. South Carolina plans to order 21% of its doses.
North Carolina has scaled back its request for the past week by 40%. Washington state also cut its order by about 40% this week, the first time the state’s order has been smaller than its allocation.
Not everyone is dialing back. Maryland and Colorado are still ordering their full amount. So is New York City. The average number of daily shots in the nation’s largest city has dropped about 40% since peaking at more than 95,000 in mid-April, but city officials want a steady supply of doses to create more shots at doctor’s offices, neighborhood pharmacies and other small providers, hoping to appeal to people who have skipped mass vaccination sites.
“We’ve got the demand to keep using our supply effectively,” Mayor Bill de Blasio said.
Health experts have generally said about 70% of the nation’s population would need to be vaccinated to reach herd immunity. The Biden administration wants to get 70% of adult Americans vaccinated by July 4, but has acknowledged the downward trend in vaccinations and the challenge to win over people who doubt the vaccine’s effectiveness or simply don’t want to get shots.
The president announced Tuesday that federal officials will expand smaller and mobile vaccination clinics for hard-to-reach communities and push education campaigns. He also has touted incentive programs, such as discounts for shoppers who get vaccinated at grocery stores.
North Carolina health officials are considering paying younger people to get shots. West Virginia has announced people between the ages of 16 and 35 will be eligible for a $100 savings bond if they get the vaccine or have gotten it. Detroit officials started a program Monday to pay people $50 for every city resident they sign up for a first dose and bring in for an appointment.
Dr. Joshua Sharfstein, vice dean for public health practice and community engagement at Johns Hopkins University, said he wasn’t “despairing” over the slowing of demand.
“Herd immunity is not necessarily a moment when the music plays and the sun shines,” he said. “It is about how easy it is for the virus to pass around in a community, and I think there is a lot more progress to be made. People who think, ‘Well, we are done with the large stadiums, so that is it, we are not going to vaccinate any more people’ are wrong. You can vaccinate a lot of people if you make it convenient for them, if you get it to their doctor’s offices, if you answer their questions. But it is going to take a different type of effort to do it.”
Hollingsworth reported from Mission, Kansas. Associated Press reporters from around the country contributed to this report.
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Like a doctor said on Fox News, between those that have had covid and those that have gotten the shots, the United States has developed herd immunity.
AND when we see these turnips in office, DEMANDING WE still stay masked up/socially distanced, even OUTSIDE< after getting "BOTH shots", many folk are wondering WHY BOTHER, getting the vaccine,if we are STILL Gonna be forced to walk around with face Diapers on!
Maybe interest is decreasing as more people hear Joe Biden beating his chest and taking credit for the vaccine. Realizing what a lying, senile, and evil entity this fraud in the whitehouse is, the population is reconsidering the legitimacy of the medicine that he is ordering everyone to take. Relax folks—President Trump was the architect and enabler of the creation of the Covid vaccine. You can rest assured it’s okay.
In my view, 57% of the adult US population being vaccinated with that garbage is waaay too many. The percent of the US population reported to be over 50 is only 34%. The Baby Boomers are killing themselves off fast enough. We don’t need younger generations dying early or worse, being unable to have healthy children. The American people need to push back on this experimental “vaccine” con.
So other than telling us that the vaccine craze is waning, the rest of this article is laughable hogwash.
ANd when we’ve heard of reports after report of supposedly hundreds, if not thousands of folks who GOT the shot, and then had major adverse reactions, materialize for a day (IF even that), then SWIFTLY getting SILENCED, THAT is spurring many to think TWICE about getting the shot.
Send to where it is really needed, like other countries in dire need such as India with over a billion people. President Trump generated a miracle performance for the USA so let’s share it with people who want it instead of wasting time, money and effort trying to convince our own naysayers. I’m sure there were once people who were not afraid of contracting Polio, Smallpox, Tetanus, Diphtheria, etc., so RIP.
Personally, I’m not afraid of contracting Diphtheria or Smallpox. I am more concerned about the garbage they have started putting into the vaccines beside the virus that is supposed to be inoculating you. That poison is where most of the danger lies. Buy why in the heck should you get inoculated for a cold with a little bronchitis? That’s fricken madness! The statistics are so screwed 6 ways to Sunday, no one knows how many or even IF anyone died of COVID 19. I am supposing some people with other medical problems did die of COVID and not medical malpractice and other problems caused by the COVID scare.
Or maybe demand is waning because although they are largely not talked about or reported on, there are obvious questions about the efficasy, safety, and long term effects, such as…
Even though they have been studied since the ninties whay hasn’t a vaccine which uses MRNA ever been approved?
How does Moderna, which has NEVER gotten a drug to market or had one approved, never published any studies to justify their claim that these drugs would revolutionize medicine, has lost money every quarter of their existence (except this one) warrant a multi billion dollar market cap (even pre covid)?
Why is Moderna’s dose over three times higher then Pfizer’s (100 micrgrams vs 30 micrograms) x 2 even when dosage was a repeatedly cited problem in animal studies for other similar MRNA injections? Too little was not effective Too large was toxic causing both liver toxicity and auto immune disease.
Space prohibits me from even getting into the Johnson and Johnson debacle that is their technology of introducing a gene (foriegn DNA) into their adenovirus formulation.
Lastly, looking at the article, who stands to beniiifit most from all of this and why do names like, Fauci, Gates, Wallensky and Biden keep coming to mind?
Maybe this is the reason that demand is waining, not resistance from republicans which while the dems like to say it, is laughable.
That is a GREAT point. WHY WAS moderna, a company that has NEVER had a successful drug before, one of the 3 BIG ones that got THIS drug? DId someone in the CDC/FDA and politics have STOCK in moderna?