The accelerated rate of vaccination in the United States loses steam as much of the population at risk has already received treatment.
The challenge now is to mobilize young people and those who doubt whether to immunize against the coronavirus.
To encourage them, initiatives have arisen ranging from a
free daily for one year up to one marijuana cigarette.
Maryland and New Jersey joined the stimulus craze on Monday.
The first promised $ 100 (83 euros) to state employees to get vaccinated;
and the second, a free beer for those over 21 who receive their first injection during the month of May.
With much of the country devoted to the cause, President Joe Biden set a new goal Monday: 70% of the adult population will have received at least one dose of the vaccine by the weekend of July 4.
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Last week, vaccination centers distributed an average of almost 2.2 million daily doses, a 32% drop from the peak of 3.3 million reached in the second week of April. So far, about 145 million adults - about 56% of the U.S. adult population - have received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, according to the latest data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (CDC). With the process slowing down and new variants of the virus circulating, experts see it less and less likely that the United States will achieve herd immunity.
Biden said Tuesday that he will ask all states to remove the requirement to make an appointment to get vaccinated, in order to speed up the process. In addition, the Democratic Administration will distribute coronavirus drugs to 40,000 pharmacies across the country and will invest 250 million dollars (208 million euros) in community organizations to hire and mobilize health personnel to run mobile clinics in rural areas with difficult access. These efforts aim for 70% of the adult population (about 160 million people) to be vaccinated, at least partially by July 4, "the day of the independence of the virus," as the president of the country has called it.
Several scientists, including Dr. Anthony Fauci, estimate that between 70% and 85% of the American population must be immunized to control the spread of the pandemic and to be able to look at the virus in the rear-view mirror.
Polls conducted by CNN and NPR in recent months show that there are around 25% of adults who do not plan to be vaccinated.
And that is the objective of the new state initiatives, of public and private companies, and also of activist organizations.
In New York, for example, the group Joints for Jabs celebrated the recent legalization of recreational marijuana in the state by giving away a joint for one day to anyone who could prove they had received at least one dose of the vaccine.
The city's Natural History Museum is also offering four tickets for future use to those who come to get vaccinated there.
A man smokes in New York on April 20, next to a Joints For Jabs booth.SPENCER PLATT / AFP
The monetary rewards are also being used as an incentive.Maryland Governor, Republican Larry Hogan, announced Monday that more than 50,000 state employees will receive $ 100 if they show they are fully vaccinated and commit to receiving the booster vaccines recommended by the authorities. health services for the next 18 months. A few weeks ago, the Republican Governor of West Virginia, Jim Justice, promised a bonus, also of $ 100, for people between 16 and 35 years old who have been vaccinated.
Several companies offer discounts or give away their products (
, desserts, beers, among others) to customers who demonstrate that they have been immunized. Some such as the auto parts and accessories chain AutoZone or the supermarkets Kroger promise 100 dollars for the pocket or to use in the store to their employees who have received the serum against covid. Bangor Savings bank has made the biggest bet: $ 500 (416 euros) for employees who complete the treatment.
The sites to receive a vaccine have also been expanding. In churches, subway stations, pharmacies ... The latter have been forced to throw away thousands of vaccines. The CDC recorded 182,874 wasted doses as of the end of March. Of that total, the CVS pharmacy chain was responsible for almost half and Walgreens, the largest pharmacy chain in the US, for 21%. In total, the two chains did not use about 128,500 doses, according to data obtained by the news portal Kaiser Health News
A CVS spokesperson explained to that media that the waste was mainly due to the period in which it was prioritized to vaccinate only medical personnel and residents of senior centers.