Volunteers are trained by St. John Ambulance instructors in the correct use of PPE during their course to administer COVID-19 vaccines at Manchester United Football Club on January 30, 2021 in Manchester, England.
Christophe Furlong | Getty Images News | Getty Images
When coronavirus vaccines were developed, tested, and licensed for emergency use in record time, millions of people eagerly awaited safety and peace of mind.
But nearly nine months after vaccination began in the West, there has been a slowdown in some national and statewide vaccination campaigns in the United States and Europe.
This slowdown, accompanied by a slowdown in certain sectors, worries experts. Notably, many preventative measures against COVID have been relaxed and cases are increasing in the United States and parts of Europe.
“The vaccine stasis in our region is a matter of serious concern,” Dr Hans Kluge, WHO regional director for the European region, said in a press release last week.
“Now that public health and social measures are relaxed in many countries, acceptance of public vaccination is essential if we are to avoid greater transmission, more serious disease, increased deaths and a greater risk of new forms of anxiety. ” Will.”
He said there have been 64 million confirmed cases and 1.3 million deaths in the region, which includes 53 countries ranging from Western Europe to Russia and its surrounding countries. Kluge said 33 countries in the region saw a more than 10% increase in their 14-day case rate.
“This high transmission is of deep concern – especially in light of the low vaccination rates of priority populations in many countries,” Kluge said.
“Over the past 6 weeks, the pace of vaccination has slowed in the region, affected by a lack of access to vaccines in some countries and a lack of vaccine acceptance in others. To date, only 6% of people in low and low lying areas Middle income countries in our region have completed the full chain of immunization.
photo in America and Europe
Vaccination programs started at different rates in Europe and the United States at the end of last year. As the UK and US quickly started vaccinating older people and healthcare workers, the EU campaign has led to some deployments due to late orders, supply shortages and clinical data (mainly with the AstraZeneca vaccine). was slower due to impediment to progress. in the European Union.
However, these early problems have largely been overcome, and a large portion of adults and young people in the United States and Europe are now fully immunized.
To date, 69.2% of adults in the European Union are now fully vaccinated, according to the European Center for Disease Prevention and Control (although the European Commission announced last Tuesday that it would vaccinate 70% of the population adult in the EU). achieved its goal).
According to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, in the UK 79.8% of people over 16 have been fully vaccinated and in the US 62% of people over 12 are fully vaccinated.
Immunizing millions of people in a short time and under pressure during a public health crisis is an undeniable achievement, but as vaccination campaigns have progressed, they have slowed in many countries, according to data from Our World in Data.
The sharp slowdown in vaccinations in early summer led the United States to meet President Biden’s goal of giving 70% of all adults a single dose one month late on July 4, rather than one mile on August 2. The stone has been struck. , between the age group of 18-29, do not show up for their shots.
“The country has more work to do … especially with 18-26 year olds,” said Jeffrey Ziants, senior White House COVID-19 adviser, in late June when it became clear the target would be missed. . “The reality is that many young Americans have realized that COVID-19 is not something that affects them, and they are less eager to be vaccinated. “
Likewise, in Europe, there has been lower (and slower) adoption among young adults and, again, this has been attributed to a more relaxed attitude towards COVID among young people. They are at much lower risk than the elderly of hospitalization and death, and the reopening of companies this summer appears to have removed the incentive for some to get vaccinated.
As the roll-out of vaccination in the United States has progressed, the gap in vaccination rates across the United States has become more pronounced, which varies widely across the country, with the southern states in the lead. lags behind their northern counterparts. Some states have been encouraged by the president to offer cash incentives to attract people.
The drop in vaccination rates is of concern as it allows the virus to spread. This, in turn, could allow new variants to emerge, which could hamper the effectiveness of existing COVID vaccines.
The United States is experiencing the spread of the highly contagious Delta Covid variant this summer. It has been particularly viral in states with low immunization coverage, such as Louisiana, Idaho and Mississippi, where the state’s top health official said in early August the virus was spreading “like a tsunami.” across the state.
Objections to vaccines remain
Experts say there is no single reason for the slowdown in vaccination, noting that vaccine supplies are not currently an issue in the United States or Europe.
While young people may not feel an urgent need to be vaccinated, others still refuse vaccines due to concerns about the long-term safety of rapidly evolving vaccines. This despite health agencies and experts endorsing COVID as “surprisingly effective.”
As the vaccination progresses, those who refuse the vaccine are likely to become more specific, an epidemiologist told CNBC.
“My gut feeling is that it’s a combination of all the obvious – considering the quality of vaccines all over the world compared to the expectations of early opinion polls (you remember some grim predictions United States and France?), we can now be left behind with residual reflowics, which may be among the fiercest opponents by age group and creed, Professor Danny Altman told CNBC on Tuesday. of Immunology at Imperial College London. “
There is great variation in the acceptance and reluctance rates of the COVID vaccine in the United States and Europe. The UK and Spain have traditionally had high vaccination rates, a factor that has facilitated COVID vaccination programs, while France has experienced widespread reluctance to a COVID vaccine .
Immunization rates currently vary widely across Europe, with countries in Eastern and Southern Europe, Russia and its neighbors all lagging behind their Western European counterparts.
Reluctance to vaccinate Covid is highest in Russia and the United States, according to the latest vaccine tracking survey from Morning Consult, which conducts more than 75,000 weekly interviews in 15 countries on the deployment of the COVID vaccine.
Latest data based on surveys conducted between August 17 and August. 23 (and with 45,604 interviews conducted in the United States) showed that Russia and the United States still have the highest rates of vaccine opposition among all the countries surveyed. Some 31% of Russians said they were unwilling to receive the COVID vaccine (and an additional 16% were unsure of receiving it) and 18% of Americans voted reluctant to get the vaccine, and 10% were not sure.
Meanwhile, millions of people in other countries have no choice whether or not to receive the Kovid vaccine. According to Our World in data, although 40.3% of the world’s population has received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, only 1.8% of people in low-income countries have received at least one dose.