The demand for a booster dose is slowing down across the US. Even though health authorities have repeatedly promoted using the booster Covid vaccine to get better protection against Omicron, many people have not been interested in this drive. As per the latest data available from CDC, nearly 60% of the eligible people have not yet received the Covid booster vaccine in the US.
This is clearly evident in the numbers as the daily average booster doses given across the US were close to one million in December. However, it has reduced by half in the third week of January. This shows that people are not taking the Omicron variant seriously as it was known to cause only mild symptoms in most cases. Even the Omicron wave itself is showing signs of slowing down across the US, and many people want to avoid the third those due to this reason.
Covid Booster Vaccine Drive Losing Steam Across The US
The initial response for vaccines was also very less in the US, as nearly 40% of the population is yet to get the initial doses of vaccines. There is a lot of vaccine hesitancy in the country, which has left millions of people vulnerable during the pandemic. Even in the Omicron wave, hospital admission data shows that most people needing critical care are yet to get vaccinated.
Even though the Biden administration tried to bring in mandates for compulsory vaccines in several offices, it was strictly opposed, and the mandate could not be passed. The growth of vaccine rate is very slow in several states like Alabama, Mississippi, Wyoming, and Idaho. The widespread vaccination in these states is still below 50%, which shows the lack of interest among people towards the vaccination drive.
Several states are resorting to promoting the vaccination drive on television ads and other mediums. Even after such efforts, the program is not seeing the required growth. Health authorities say that they have put every effort into boosting the vaccination program, and there is nothing wrong with the strategies of the federal government.
The situation is drastically different in Vermont, which has the highest number of vaccinated people in percentage terms in the US. Even the booster drive has got a good response, and nearly 60% of the eligible people have taken the booster shots.
Health experts say that getting the booster shots is needed as the power of vaccines reduces over a period of time. In this regard, the protection offered by the initial two doses is not enough to prevent Omicron infection. However, according to the latest research, getting the booster dose can prevent Omicron by a huge margin.
The booster shots especially helped high-risk people avoid the infection in this wave. Even when such people were infected after taking the required doses of vaccines, the symptoms were mild, and most people did not need hospitalization or critical care.
Some people believe that the vaccines are not needed at this stage as there is no guarantee that future variants will be protected by taking the existing vaccines. As the symptoms of the Omicron variant are mild to moderate in most cases, most people have not taken the booster drive seriously in this wave.
Many experts also support such claims as they feel that it is not a good idea to pump new vaccine shots into people regularly. Instead, proper vaccines that can offer long-term protection and treatment options should be made available to fight future variants.
Looking into the numbers, many experts feel that the booster drive will lose its sheen in the next few weeks if the Omicron recedes across the country.