Rates of new and additional vaccination against the coronavirus in Kentucky and the nation have hit new lows.
Over the last seven days, the average number of Covid-19 vaccinations in Kentucky was 2,508 per day, the lowest since the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention began gathering reliable data in January 2020.
Most Kentucky vaccinations are booster shots for people who already had two doses of the Moderna or PfizerBioNTech messenger RNA vaccines or a single dose of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine.
Nationally, as the pandemic wanes, first-dose vaccinations are at a record low, The New York Times reports, using CDC data.
“The country’s campaign to vaccinate its population seems to have hit a wall, with very few people showing up for first shots,” Ada Petriczko writes for the Times. “An average of 76,000 Americans a day received their first dose this week, the lowest number since December 2020. The number of overall doses per day, including first doses, second doses and boosters, is also at its lowest since around then.”
People “who are vaccine-hesitant or vaccine-resistant now have fewer incentives to change their minds,” Petriczko notes. “The numbers of Covid-19 cases, hospitalizations and deaths are falling, and many states are pulling back on mask mandates.” Also, the CDC recently relaxed its mask guidelines.
Physicians like pediatrician Irwin Redlener are frustrated. “Speaking to patients who are vaccine-resistant is one of the most frustrating things I have ever done as a doctor,” Redlener, director of the National Center for Disaster Preparedness, told the Times. “The odd thing here is that the typical public-health messages, such as ‘If you get Covid and you’re not vaccinated, you have a 20 times greater chance of dying than if you had been vaccinated,’ just don’t seem to work with these patients. The black-and-white scientific reality is in a serious conflict with misinformation.”
Redlener said “There’s a lot of wishful thinking that we are done with the pandemic, which we are not. I wouldn’t be worried if people were saying, ‘We’re sick of this, we want to get back to normal, but we’re going to get vaccinated.’ Unfortunately, what we are seeing is a confluence of a delusion of normalcy with vaccine hesitancy.”
About 76 percent of Americans have received at least one dose of a coronavirus vaccine. In Kentucky, 56% of the total population and 60% of the eligible population, those 5 and older, have received at least one dose. Among the population eligible to get a booster, 43% have received one.