Story at a glance

  • Despite a rough start, COVID-19 vaccines are becoming more popular, with more Americans willing to get inoculated.
  • The Kaiser Family Foundation notes that at the current rate, not enough vaccines may be available.
  • “While timing may differ by state, we estimate that across the U.S. as a whole we will likely reach a tipping point on vaccine enthusiasm in the next 2 to 4 weeks.”

Rather than facing a battle of COVID-19 vaccine hesitation and apathy among Americans, new public health research suggests that vaccine demand may outpace supplies as more people in the U.S. and around the world receive their first shots.

The Kaiser Family Foundation (KFF) notes that despite increased levels of supplies as President Biden pushes toward a goal of vaccinating 200 million Americans, more people across all demographics and regions are looking to get vaccinated as soon as possible. 

Data gathered by the health agency notes that intentions to get vaccinated against COVID-19 have consistently increased, rising to 61 percent in March from 55 percent in February. 

The 61 percent represents about 157 million U.S. adults. Based on current vaccination rates released by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the U.S. stands to face a vaccine dosage shortage within approximately 15 days. 


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“On average across the country, it appears we are quite close to the tipping point where demand for rather than supply of vaccines is our primary challenge,” the report reads. “While timing may differ by state, we estimate that across the U.S. as a whole we will likely reach a tipping point on vaccine enthusiasm in the next 2 to 4 weeks.”

So far, the U.S. has administered about 216 million vaccines.

The report authored by KFF researchers notes that this hypothesis is just a projection, but says that people who are initially reticent to get a vaccine tend to become more positive about getting vaccinated over time, suggesting an increase in demand.

Once supply begins to be stretched thin, reaching herd immunity levels will be a challenge.

This comes as Pfizer and Moderna are the primary vaccine manufacturers whose product is being distributed, as Johnson & Johnson halted usage while conducting safety trials.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration also issued a severe review of the company’s safety standards at its Baltimore facility, where millions of vaccine doses were botched. 


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Published on Apr 22, 2021