Several U.S. states have turned down new federal shipments of Wuhan coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccines as demand for the shots dwindle. The vaccine supply for some areas has overtaken demand, leading to unused vaccine doses.
According to a report by the Associated Press, a number of states now have to work harder to encourage people to get vaccinated against COVID-19. For instance, Louisiana has had to stop asking the federal government for its full allotments of vaccine doses. The Pelican State is instead redirecting its efforts to encourage Louisianians to get their shots.
The Louisiana Department of Health said it would send out more than 100,000 mailers on April 26 exhorting people to get vaccinated. It added that automated calls from regional medical directors would also be rolled out in a bid to fight vaccine hesitancy.
Meanwhile, about three out of four Kansas counties have turned down new COVID-19 vaccine doses within the last month. Decatur County Health Department nurse Stacey Hileman described the vaccination drive there as “kind of stalling,” with county residents saying they “just don’t want” to get immunized. Less than a third of Decatur County’s 2,900 residents have received at least one COVID-19 vaccine dose.
Mississippi has seen a similar scenario, in which people expressed skepticism or lack of interest toward the vaccines. Pharmacist Robin Jackson, who is based in a small town in the Magnolia State, said she has been “practically begging” people in her community to have their shots. Despite putting signs outside her storefront announcing the arrival of the doses, she told AP that “nobody was coming, and I mean no one.”
Because of instances such as the one Jackson shared, Mississippi has asked the federal government to ship the vaccine in smaller packages to avoid wastage. Gov. Tate Reeves said during a news conference in early April 2021: “If you’re in New York City, and you’re sending a package to one of the large pharmacies in downtown Manhattan, then there are literally millions and millions of people within walking distance … of that particular pharmacy. [But] if you’re in rural Itta Benna, Mississippi – that’s just not the case.”
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The drop in vaccine demand came as President Joe Biden celebrated 200 million COVID-19 vaccine shots administered during his first 100 days in office. The chief executive initially announced that his administration would strive for 100 million shots in 100 days – which was beaten in record time. More than half of American adults have received at least one vaccine dose as of writing.
Biden has announced a “new phase” in his administration’s “historic vaccination effort.” The new phase looks to focus on widening outreach and combating vaccine hesitancy. But the decline in demand for vaccine doses appears to contradict this goal.
Furthermore, a number of people AP interviewed had their own reasons as to why they would not get a Wuhan coronavirus vaccine. (Related: Almost a third of Americans say they will AVOID the coronavirus vaccine.)
Barber County, Kansas resident Danielle Farr said she has no plans to get any COVID-19 vaccine. The 32-year-old, who works at an accounting firm, added that post-sickness antibodies present in their blood will protect them from future infections. Farr, her husband and their two children all contracted COVID-19 last year but subsequently recovered – with blood tests finding antibodies for the pathogen in all of them.
Farr commented: “I believe in vaccines that have eradicated terrible diseases for the past 60 [or] 70 years. [But] a vaccine that was rushed in six [or] seven months … I’m just going to be a little bit more cautious about what I choose to put into my body.” The county where she resides had rejected vaccine doses sent by the Kansas state government for two weeks now.
Yazoo City, Mississippi resident Barbara Gennaro said she generally avoids vaccinations for her family in general. The stay-at-home mother of two added that the Wuhan coronavirus vaccine is no different. She commented that everybody in her homeschooling community is against COVID-19 vaccinations likewise.
Gennaro remarked: “All of the strong Christians that I associate with are against it. Fear is what drives people to get the vaccine – plain and simple. The stronger someone’s trust is in the Lord, the least likely they are to want the vaccine or feel that it’s necessary.” (Related: Catholic leaders encourage congregants to avoid J&J coronavirus vaccine due to aborted fetal tissue.)
Visit Vaccines.news to read more articles about the U.S.’s COVID-19 mass immunization program.
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