Without continued vaccinations, herd immunity remains a dream. So, why are the numbers suddenly falling, and what needs to happen next?
Earlier this year, the United States was leading global vaccination statistics, managing to vaccinate more citizens than the United Kingdom or Israel. Since the middle of April, this trend has stalled, and daily vaccination rates are dropping.
The overall statistics are still looking good: over 50% of the total population has had at least one shot. More than 40% of Americans have been fully vaccinated. COVID-19 case numbers in the United States are also dropping.
However, as infectious diseases expert, Dr. Anthony Fauci put it, declaring victory over the virus now would be premature. There are a few reasons for this: among them is the fact that 40% is still far away from herd immunity. Also, as long as the virus remains active worldwide, there is always the potential for new variants to develop and threaten the effectiveness of the vaccine.
Herd immunity means the majority of a population is immune to an infectious disease. This offers protection to those who are not yet immune as there are fewer people who can contract and pass on the virus in question.
Automatically, the spread slows down, case numbers and deaths drop. There is no set threshold at which herd immunity is achieved. However, scientists generally consider percentages from 50 to 90 to be effective. With a novel virus, such as this coronavirus, it is harder to determine one set number. Generally speaking, the higher the percentage is, the more protection is afforded to a population.
At this point, the United States is only just starting to reach numbers approaching a meaningful degree of immunity.
Statistics show that immunizations peaked in the middle of April, with the number of people receiving their first vaccine exceeding just over two million per day.
There is some good news in this slowdown as it was expected to a degree. As a larger percentage of the eligible population became vaccinated, some states almost ran out of people to vaccinate.
Vaccine hesitancy is one of the biggest reasons for the slowdown in vaccination numbers. Despite reassurances given by scientists and the Center for Disease Control (CDC), some people remain doubtful over the safety of the vaccine.
Whilst not a new phenomenon as such, vaccine hesitancy might be heightened in this case because of the speed of the vaccines’ development and approval. However, it is important to understand that no corners were cut in the process. Another important reminder to those in doubt is the fact that the vaccines will not cause COVID-19.
Instead, they are designed to stimulate an immune response. This is why some people report headaches or slight fevers after vaccination. A sore arm is another common side effect. What is more important, though, is the fact that a COVID-19 infection is far more dangerous.
Ironically, refusing the vaccine will leave so-called anti-vaxxers at a greater risk for a serious COVID-19 infection. Not only that, but it will also increase the likelihood of their friends and family being exposed.
Apart from those hesitant to get the vaccine, there is also a considerable percentage of the population that has been unable to get to a vaccine center.
Taking time off work can be problematic when it comes to making an appointment, and some may be concerned about having to take sick leave to accommodate potential side effects.
The White House recently increased its efforts to bring vaccination facilities to underserved areas. This includes deploying mobile clinics and supporting ride-share companies offering free transport. In addition, the government called on employers to help employees get vaccinated.
Encouraging your team to get their COVID-19 vaccination is one part of working towards herd immunity. As an employer, you can take things one step further and offer vaccination at work. Potential side effects aside, this solves any transport problems your employees may have and takes care of scheduling difficulties.
Investing in the health of your team is an investment into your company’s future. TrueCare™ can arrange the vaccination process for businesses and institutions from start to finish. We provide the vaccine, professionally trained and experienced staff, and the logistics for the event. Our process adheres to all FDA requirements and quality measures, giving you peace of mind.
Becoming vaccinated against COVID-19 is an important step in the fight against the pandemic. The quicker a majority of the population is fully vaccinated, the sooner all of us can go back to enjoying some of the things we have had to do without. Concerts, restaurant visits, ballgames – everything we love about summer – will be safer and more enjoyable once Covid-19 is under control. Vaccinations allow us to reach this goal faster.
TrueCare™ is a nationwide Health & Wellness platform for families and businesses providing end-to-end solutions for COVID-19 testing, screening, vaccination, home care, and corporate well-being services.
Contact us now to discuss COVID-19 vaccination event for your business.