As Covid cases decline in the US, the rollout of the booster program in the country continues, according to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
About 193,000 Americans receive an additional shot each day, down more than 70 percent in the past month from about 650,000 on Jan. 15. Adoption peaked in early December, when 1.1 million people received additional shots each day.
This is the lowest daily intake of boosters since supplemental shots became available at the end of September.
This is in line with the surge trends of the delta variant, where vaccination rates in America began to rise when the variant first began to have an impact in August, before stagnating — and eventually falling — as case numbers began to stagnate and Americans began to indifferent to vaccination.
The COVID-19 shot peaked in early December when Omicron first arrived in the US, but has since reached its lowest level since the booster shot first became available in late September.
About 70% of Americans eligible for the COVID-19 booster received it, along with 42% of the general population. Pictured: A man in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, receives a COVID-19 shot.
In early December, Americans became aware of the new threat of the vaccine-resistant Omicron variant, which spurred many who either delayed getting a booster or did not plan to do everything to get vaccinated.
However, this group of people have been vaccinated for now, leaving a small group of people still lining up for a booster.
Indifference will also begin to creep in as the number of Covid cases in the US is falling sharply – down 43 percent in the last week to 150,714 cases per day – and has fallen far from the average of 800,000 cases per day since mid-January.
Data from the Kaiser Family Foundation, cited last week by the CDC and White House officials, shows that 70 percent of Americans eligible for a booster shot have received it.
However, getting the remaining fully vaccinated but not boosted population to take the next shot can be a challenge.
U.S. use of the Covid vaccine began to rise in late summer as the Delta variant became the dominant strain. Vaccination demand surged again this winter as Omicron began to establish itself in the states.
Of the 30 percent of vaccinated Americans who haven’t been vaccinated, only 40 percent plan to get vaccinated “as soon as possible” and 30 percent say they “definitely won’t get” vaccinated.
This figure also remained unchanged, indicating that those who chose not to get promoted are likely to be unwavering in this belief.
Health officials hope these booster shots could spell the end of the pandemic, but a cutback in booster usage could ruin that plan.
Growing vaccination rates for Covid combined, a highly infectious Omicron variant that is milder than other strains, and how quickly that variant seemed to run out of steam after the American outbreak late last year gives many hope that the virus may soon reach the endemic state.
However, it depends on people being vaccinated and indifference can set in once the number of cases is low enough that another surge may be needed to convince the remaining stragglers to get an extra shot.
It also spells bad news for the future of Covid vaccines. It is already difficult enough for health officials to give people their first three shots, and a fourth may not be far off.
According to official data from the CDC, 76 percent of Americans have received at least one shot of the vaccine, and 64 percent are fully vaccinated.
In total, only 42 percent of Americans received a booster shot.
However, fourth doses have already been given to immunocompromised Americans, and countries like Israel have also begun the process of getting the next dose of weapons.
Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation’s top infectious disease expert, has said in recent weeks that a fourth shot is likely to be needed in the future to boost protection against Omicron.