Cash, free drinks and unlimited donuts. The most unexpected initiatives are multiplying in the United States to maintain the pace of a vaccination campaign against Covid-19, which, in places, is stalling.
Among these incentives, that of the Republican governor of West Virginia is to date the most spectacular and the most expensive: Jim Justice has just announced the payment of a savings bond of 100 dollars (83 euros) to any person aged 16 to 35 receiving her first dose of vaccine, a potential investment of $ 27.5 million. “Our children do not realize how important their role is in getting rid of [Covid-19] “, he justified April 26. The State, among the most dynamic in terms of vaccination until recent weeks, has recorded a significant drop in the distribution of doses for a month, and is now in the national average with 30% of adults fully vaccinated.
The situation of this rural and relatively sparsely populated state foreshadows a trend that could spread across the country. Carried out at a sustained pace, thanks in particular to the opening of sites that can accommodate several thousand people per day, the vaccination campaign in the United States has proved to be one of the most effective in the world. More than 300 million doses, mainly Pfizer and Moderna, have been injected since mid-December 2020; 142 million Americans over the age of 16 have received at least one dose (43% of the population, a figure that rises to 76% for those over 75) and 100 million are fully immunized.
Convince the “reluctant”
As a result, the country is recording a continuous, albeit relative, decline in the daily number of contaminations (54,000 on average over the past seven days) and deaths (700 on average). Faced with these encouraging figures, the health authorities have just authorized people who have been fully vaccinated to do without a mask outdoors. A decision presented by the government as an additional reason to get vaccinated, “A patriotic duty”, according to President Joe Biden.
But the initial craze for vaccines is now experiencing several setbacks. Some 2.6 million doses are injected daily, but this figure has been falling steadily for the past fortnight. Across the country, vaccination centers are starting to close for lack of candidates. For the same reasons, some counties refuse the deliveries of vaccines planned by the federal government, for fear of seeing them expire. After having reached the most motivated people, the health authorities must now reckon with the most reluctant and hard to reach audiences.
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