(Pasadena) No more big stadiums, hello mobile clinics: in the United States, after record levels of vaccinations, the daily number of people receiving anti-COVID-19 doses is plummeting, forcing the authorities to rethink their strategy to reach the indifferent. and skeptical.
The vaccination campaign is still in full swing. Currently, all persons of the vaccinated age in a country where about 55% of adults have received at least one dose are eligible to be vaccinated.
But today a new challenge arises: to vaccinate the other half. The need to hope for the achievement of herd immunity that can end the epidemic.
However, after a peak in early April, the rhythm of daily vaccinations has slowed significantly at the national level. Enthusiasts, those who were firmly waiting for the vaccine, had already rolled up their sleeves before the injection. The rest remain.
Thus, in Texas, the number of injections is in free fall.
A large federal vaccination center in Arlington, between Dallas and Fort Worth, was closed in mid-April due to lack of sufficient demand.
In an attempt to provoke the population at NRG Stadium in Houston and Fair Park in Dallas, the two “vaccine courses”, also supported by the federal state, have stopped requiring meetings.
Later hours are also offered for people who work in the evenings: in Houston, the site does not close at 5:00 pm, but at 9:00 pm. Texans get vaccinated in minutes without leaving their cars.
” Too far ”
Despite this, more than half of the doses of NRG Stadium do not find their consumer. “Our capacity is about 6,000 people. [par jour] and we even increased to 7,000. Today the number has dropped to an average of 2,500, ”says Martha Marquez, public affairs manager for the Harris County Health Department. “Significant drop. ”
Therefore, a new proximity-focused strategy was introduced to reach more isolated audiences, socially or geographically.
Five mobile vaccination centers traverse the areas of the county where positive cases are most important.
“Next week we will be deploying 10 mobile clinics,” says Ashley Dawson, head of one of them.
This Thursday, a young woman oversees seven people and trains eight others to work in the new divisions.
His team took over the management of a library in Pasadena, a predominantly Hispanic city in the suburbs of Houston.
The audience is rare, and only 27 people received the injection at noon.
Among them, 55-year-old Jose Herrera finally got vaccinated: “I didn’t do this before because it was too far away. I wanted a place closer to home. We do not know what reaction we might have, once stung.
However, there are about twenty supermarkets or pharmacies in the city that offer injections.
But it was thanks to his daughter, who works in this library, that this unemployed man finally agreed to go to get the vaccine with his wife Maria.
“Since we have completed our mission to vaccinate most of the high-risk populations […]”We’re now focusing more and more on other groups that will take time to reach,” admitted Friday Jeff Zientes, White House COVID-19 Coordinator.
“We want to make it easier for you to get the vaccine from your doctor,” added Vivek Murthy, the US chief physician, and promised to do so shortly.
The main thing is to make the medicine more accessible, confirms D.R Saad Omer, Director of the Yale Institute for Global Health.
In a few months, confidence in vaccines has increased dramatically, and among the unvaccinated, many are simply undecided.
“One way to solve this problem is to increase their demand. Another is to make it so simple and accessible that even a hesitant one will say, “Okay, let’s do this,” he explains.
However, some segments of the population are highly skeptical.
According to a study by the Kaiser Family Foundation published in late March, nearly 30% of Republican voters said they did not want to get vaccinated (compared to 5% of Democrats). The same proportion among white evangelical Christians.
Voices are being raised to put more pressure on these categories. But Saad Omer believes that “if anyone is to blame, it is a white evangelist, not an outsider.”
This, he said, is what has happened with success for blacks, whose credibility has grown significantly thanks to the positions of African American organizations.