At 38.5% vaccinated, US may be running low on people eager for a shot (

Some worry the country can’t keep up the current pace of vaccination.

The US logged another 4 million or so vaccinations Friday, bringing the total doses administered in the country over 200 million at the time of writing. Over 127 million adults—38.5 percent of the US population—have received at least one shot. Over 80 million adults—24 percent of the US population—are now fully vaccinated.

The seven-day rolling average of US vaccinations per day is now around 3.35 million, and the Biden administration is on track to make its latest goal of 200 million vaccinations within the first 100 days in office.

Even with a current pause in use of Johnson & Johnson’s vaccine, Biden officials expect availability of vaccine to remain strong.

“Vaccines produced by Moderna and Pfizer are still widely available,” Rochelle Walensky, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, said in a White House COVID-19 press briefing Friday. “We continue to work with pharmacies, states, and FEMA to make sure the vaccine supply remains robust across the country as we approach April 19th, when all Americans above age 16 or 18—depending on the vaccine received—will be eligible for vaccination.”

Walensky and other officials stressed in the briefing how critical it is to keep up the pace of vaccinations. “Even as we accelerate our efforts to get shots in arms, more dangerous variants are growing, causing increases in cases with people without immunity,” Andy Slavitt, a senior White House adviser on the pandemic, said in the briefing. “This increases the urgency for you to get vaccinated.”

But the latest survey results and vaccination distribution data are pointing in the opposite direction. Together, they suggest that the US may be close to running out of people eager for their shot and that the robust pace of vaccination in the country may soon wane.

The latest data from the Kaiser Family Foundation’s ongoing COVID-19 vaccine survey suggests that enthusiasm for vaccines continues to increase. In February, 55 percent of people said they had already gotten at least one dose or plan to get one as soon as possible. That figure rose to 61 percent in March. But the percentage of people saying they “definitely” will not get vaccinated has held fairly stable, currently standing around 13 percent. The fraction of people who say they’ll only get vaccinated if they’re required to do so has also stayed put at around 7 percent.

Worrying signs

The data further suggests that in some demographics and locations, the most eager have largely already gotten their vaccines.

By age group, the most enthusiastic to get vaccinated are those ages 65 and older. An impressive 81 percent of the 65+ groups reported they have either already gotten vaccinated or will soon. But most are already vaccinated. Sixty-four percent of the 65+ group reported that they have already gotten at least one shot. And just 17 percent say they’re still waiting to get [ … ]

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