IslamNews – March is shaping up to be a critical month for the vaccine rollout in the United States, as a new vaccine comes online and the production and delivery of doses surge.
Johnson & Johnson’s one-shot vaccine was approved by the Food and Drug Administration over the weekend, giving Americans access to a third shot. The company is expected to deliver nearly four million vaccine doses this week and another 16 million by the end of the month.
The vaccine supplies from Pfizer and Moderna are also set to increase considerably this month. Pfizer said that it would be able to ship 13 million doses per week by the middle of this month, up from around five million at the beginning of February. Moderna said that it expected to double its shipments to more than 10 million doses by the end of the month.
Together, that means the U.S. will have enough doses on hand by the end of this month to vaccinate about 130 million Americans, or roughly half of all eligible adults, and 40 percent of the total population.
Of course, persuading that many people to actually take the vaccines, and administering them at sites across the country, is its own challenge. To handle the increase, states and cities are rushing to open mass vaccination sites where they can administer thousands of shots a day.
The Federal Emergency Management Agency has also joined in, opening seven mega-sites in California, New York and Texas that are staffed by active-duty troops. The agency is planning more, with some locations aiming to inoculate at least 12,000 people a day, while others will operate around the clock to meet demand.
Mass vaccination sites, however, are not perfect. They often cater to highly motivated people with access to vehicles, and may leave out harder-to-reach Americans who may be reluctant to get shots. To address these problems FEMA plans to open sites in low-income, heavily Black and Latino neighborhoods where vaccination rates have been lower.
Pharmacies and community clinics will also be critical. In Connecticut, Community Health Center operates a number of large sites, but is planning to send small mobile teams into neighborhoods to reach vaccine-hesitant populations.
Mark Masselli, the group’s president and chief executive, says the time is right.
“March 14 is Daylight Saving Time,” he said. “We’re going to pick up warmer weather, more light.”
Addressing vaccine refusal. In The Atlantic, Derek Thompson writes that “a constellation of motivations, insecurities, reasonable fears, and less reasonable conspiracy theories” can lead to people opting not to take coronavirus vaccines.
Source: The New York Time