Some parts of the US are more vulnerable to another hit by coronavirus. Here’s why

“Some areas are doing very well with greater than 65% coverage for those over the age of 65… but many areas have far less coverage, less than 47%,” she said. “Because this virus is an opportunist, we anticipate that the areas of lightest vaccine coverage now might be where the virus strikes next.”

Ron Johnson downplays urgency of getting Covid-19 vaccine

“I think it’s really important to understand that vaccines work best at a population level, not at the individual level,” infectious diseases specialist and epidemiologist Dr. Celine Gounder told CNN on Saturday. “If you’re in a community that is swimming with virus, 95% reduction is good, but you’re still at risk.”

“Really the best way to reduce the risk for all of us is for as many people to get vaccinated as possible,” Gounder added.

US Surgeon General Dr. Vivek Murthy also highlighted the importance of widespread vaccinations in Friday’s briefing.

“This is one of those moments where we have to decide who we are as a country,” he said. “Are we 300 million people who happen to live in the same place? Or are we fellow Americans who recognize we’re stronger when we care for and protect one another?”

“If we do this together,” Murthy added, “We will turn this pandemic around.”

People head into the former Stein Mart store on Washington Road in Augusta, Georgia, on March 25, 2021, for Augusta University's Covid-19 vaccination clinic

Reports warn of vaccine ‘tipping point’

In parts of the country, some local officials are reporting drops in demand for Covid-19 shots.
Covid-19 vaccine demand is slowing in parts of the US. Now an uphill battle starts to get more shots into arms
And in just a few weeks’ time, the US could hit a “tipping point” on vaccine enthusiasm and supply will likely outstrip demand, a Kaiser Family Foundation report said.

“Once this happens, efforts to encourage vaccination will become much harder, presenting a challenge to reaching the levels of herd immunity that are expected to be needed,” the report said.

So far, roughly 41.8% of the US population has received at least one dose of a Covid-19 vaccine, CDC data shows, and about 28% of the population is fully vaccinated.

Some experts, including Dr. Anthony Fauci, have estimated somewhere between 70% to 85% of Americans need to have immunity to the virus — either through vaccination or previous infection — to control its spread.

Behind the slowing vaccine demand are several factors, experts say, including vaccine hesitancy.
The US may have more vaccines than people who want them by mid-May. Here's why that's a big problem.
In their latest Covid-19 briefing, the University of Washington’s Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation wrote that the “slow erosion of vaccine confidence unfolding over the last two or more months is cause for concern.”

“Facebook runs a survey every day, and we look at that data on a daily basis and that’s shown that vaccine confidence in the US has been slowly but steadily going down since February,” IHME Director Dr. Chris Murray told CNN on Friday.

“There’s a lot of people out there, and it’s a growing fraction of people, who are not sure they want to get the vaccine, and that’s really important that we overcome that,” he added.

Covid-19 vaccinations declined last week

Some officials worry the recent recommended pause on the Johnson & Johnson Covid-19 vaccine could have also further fueled hesitancy.

The CDC and the Food and Drug Administration lifted that pause recommendation on Friday, saying the vaccine label will be updated to warn of blood clot risks.
CDC, FDA lift pause on using J&J's coronavirus vaccine, add safety warning

“We have concluded that the known and potential benefits of the Janssen COVID-19 vaccine outweigh its known and potential risks in individuals 18 years of age and older,” acting FDA Commissioner Dr. Janet Woodcock said in a statement.

The administration of the J&J vaccine can resume “immediately,” Walensky said Friday.

The pause contributed to a decline in the total number of Americans who got vaccinated last week, the CDC’s Dr. Amanda Cohn said Saturday.

“Last week was the first week that we saw a decline in vaccination, in terms of the total number of people who got vaccinated over the course of the week, and there is clearly the contributory factor of the pause in the J&J vaccine,” Cohn said.

US has more than 9 million Johnson & Johnson doses ready to go now that pause is lifted
In a statement on Saturday, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced the state would immediately resume administering the J&J vaccine at all state-run sites.

“The vaccine is the weapon that will win the war against COVID and allow everyone to resume normalcy, and we have three proven vaccines at our disposal,” the governor said in a statement. “The sooner we all get vaccinated, the sooner we can put the long COVID nightmare behind us once and for all.”

New Jersey’s top health official also recommended that the state resumes administering the single-shot vaccine.

CNN’s Lauren Mascarenhas contributed to this report.

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