More than 54% of US adults have been vaccinated for COVID-19 |JPNN us

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142 million americans have gotten their first dose of the covet vaccine that’s more than 54 of the adult population but the concerning trend now is demand for vaccines is dropping across the country and thousands of doses are set to expire this afternoon so joining me now for more on the race to vaccinate is epidemiologist and abc news contributor dr john brownstein doctor good morning thanks for joining us there was always this concern that the demand drop was looming around the corner why are we seeing it happen now and how do we get to herd immunity if interest in the vaccine continues to fade even further yeah you know trevor this is a really important issue that is evolving we knew it was going to happen we didn’t think maybe it was going to happen this soon you know you mentioned 142 million americans have been vaccinated that’s amazing we have over 100 million that have yet to be vaccinated and we’ve gone from this sort of desperate search for vaccine to now trying to sway the public to get immunized you know we had this first wave with older population that was really you know on board with a vaccine now we have younger population that is not necessarily on board they may be hesitant because they’re not interested in the side effects they want to wait and see they may not trust the vaccine or may just not see it as valuable for themselves so we have to be pushing policy decisions that sort of open up supply make it as easy as possible for people to get the vaccine that is of course using pharmacies and pop-ups and mobile clinics we know that percent of americans are within five miles of the site but that’s not always the best kind of site for everyone then you know we’ve seen these innovative strategies like paying people or maybe giving free beers or shots i mean whatever it takes i guess but then when you look at what’s happening in india with you know the massive increase we should be so thankful for this vaccine so we need to educate the public why it’s so important and why getting us all on board the vaccine ultimately gets us to that hurt immunity number so we have those concerns with getting people to get the shot at all but beyond that we know that you just wrote a paper that came out today about americans many of them who have already received a first dose of the vaccine confused about the timing and the protection the necessity of that second dose so can you clarify for us how important is it to get that second dose and how important is it to get it in the set timing window that’s recommended yeah this is a good question and unfortunately what we found is that millions of people are not getting that second dose in the recommended time you know there’s a lot of reasons for that challenges of getting that second appointment or maybe they’re afraid of the side effects because they had some side effects from the first dose but we’re also finding out that there’s an education issue people don’t actually fully understand when they’re protected you need that two-dose regime you know you need to wait one to two weeks there’s a lot of confusion and so we need to educate people on why it’s so important to get that second dose because that fully gives you that protection that we saw in the clinical trials and yes i think there’s this real challenge of getting everyone to think about the importance of a tudor strategy um i think that you know ultimately that’s what we need to get to that herd immunity number i think that you know again it’s it’s about getting everyone on board and fully explaining you know what the clinical trial showed and and not allowing people to miss that second dose we don’t want to discount the positive progress that we’ve made in a lot of areas we’re starting to see some of these returns to normal life but with that for example schools returning the kansas city star is reporting doctors there saying more parents are refusing to have their sick children tested for coronavirus because they don’t want to deal with the hassle if the results are positive what’s your message to parents who might suspect that their kids have coveted yeah this is so tricky because you know of course we want to stop with all the interventions obviously we want to get the mass off we want to stop with testing but the message really is to hang on a little bit longer we have 60 000 cases a day still in this country we have active transmission in places like oregon and washington and michigan um the situation improves we will see the data get better and over time we’ll get to stop with the testing but for now it’s important to identify people who are infected we know that the younger population is what is driving infection in the community and we know that you know children represent 30 of reported cases you do not want to be sending your child back into school infected we know there are plenty of vulnerable kids out there that can deal with the worst of this virus that would be unfair and in fact would put the whole school in jeopardy of closing and so this is all about trying to protect yourself but also the community to get to that point now we will get to a point where we can stop with the testing but i think we’re a few months away from that i don’t want to necessarily use the term silver lining but i think a sentiment a lot of people have shared is it this has been a terrible pandemic it could have been even worse if this virus was deadlier for children having said that we just saw kana’s piece about the future vaccinating children how vital is it for children to get vaccinated for us to be able to move past this pandemic you know we keep talking about herd immunity and you know that number could be about 80 it might be more based on variance and so with children making up 20 of the population you know you have this important segment that needs to get vaccinated we know that we’re not going to get to 80 just in adults alone we just discussed hesitancy issue or people not want to get the vaccine there are plenty of adults that can’t get the vaccine for a variety of reasons or may not amount an effective immune response because of an underlying condition so we need kids to get on board with the vaccine it’s not necessarily because they’re at higher risk but it’s because it will drive down transmission in the community i do think we’re going to see the 12 and over uh getting vaccinated later this summer younger kids into 2022 um and that means that these vaccinated kids will also get to enjoy all the benefits of of you know all these cdc guidelines for those that are vaccinated as well summertime vaccinations for above 12 that would be a huge development of course a lot of that is contingent on these trials that are happening right now with both pfizer and moderna what’s your advice to parents whose children maybe could be part of those vaccine trials and really just in general what do parents need to know about the vaccines as we get into the summer or into 2022 and they hopefully become available to children you know as we have been saying throughout the pandemic these clinical trials are the key right because they provide us important data of efficacy but also safety so parents that are volunteering their kids into these trials you know they’re heroes the parents are heroes the kids are heroes because they’re giving us that critical data on safety and efficacy you know the full expectation is that these vaccines will be incredibly safe we’ve already given out a billion doses of vaccine across the globe you know the safety looks incredible but we’ll get more data and as we get that data in kids we’ll be able to evaluate it and then you know the fda will make a decision on whether they can expand the eoa to include kids i fully expect that to happen i think the recommendation will be to expand to kids and you know we’ll start to see this you know kids getting vaccinated i think hopefully parents will get on board with us because they’ll recognize that it’s about keeping their kids safe but it’s also about bringing down transmission in the community and finally being at the other end of this pandemic hopefully we can keep that demand up in at least that category dr john brownstein thank you.

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