This should be a benefit for communities of color. Despite the highest vaccine demand rates according to CiviqsBlack and Latin American communities faced a lack of access to the vaccine – in some cases, particularly due to false assumptions that there was resistance to the vaccine in black communities. But people of color are the majority of those who receive vaccinations at federally funded sites, so expanding their use should help tackle the inequity in vaccine distribution so far.
The second largest chunk of funds announced on Wednesday is that which aims to convince the genuinely reluctant to take the vaccine through an awareness and education program. And there is no doubt about the direction to take: 41% of Republicans still say they will not take the vaccine. And new information shows exactly who is to blame for the vaccine reluctance.
Wednesday, the CDC reports that more than 169 million doses of vaccine have been delivered to states and over 130 million doses have been administered. However, since most vaccines used require two doses, this translates to more than 85 million Americans who have received at least one dose. The number of those who have been fully vaccinated stands at 46 million. This means that out of a total US population of 229 million people 16 years of age or older, about 37% have received at least one vaccine and 20% have been fully immunized.
On Wednesday, Civiqs reported that the total number of Americans in their national survey data stating they have ever been vaccinated stands at 32%. With 37% of them saying they really intend to get the vaccine.
The number of people already vaccinated lags behind among black respondents, with just 29% reporting having received a COVID-19 vaccine. However, compared to previous data, this shows a narrowing of the gap between vaccine availability in white and black communities. The figures also show that demand for vaccines in black communities remains high.
But one thing that has been remarkably consistent across all polls is how Republicans have become, by far, the biggest bastion of anti-vaxxers. Only 48% of Republicans now say they have been vaccinated or intend to be vaccinated. And 41% of Republicans continue to say they won’t accept the vaccine – a figure that has barely changed since the polls began.
One thing that has reversed over the past two weeks: The percentage of black Americans who have been vaccinated now exceeds the percentage of Republicans who have been vaccinated. This indicates that states are finally realizing that the demand is actually higher in communities of color and are moving vaccines to those areas rather than continuing to flood less accepted areas.
The reason for the Republican reluctance goes beyond the simple fact that it is President Biden who is effectively distributing the vaccine. As The daily beast reports, in Donald Trump’s final months in the White House, it was already clear that conspiracy theories revolved around the vaccine. These theories were exploding in the same social media circles and in right-wing media in general, so several advisers reached out to Trump, asking him to stand out by promoting the vaccine publicly.
Trump refused. At that time, he was ignorant of virtually anything to do with the pandemic. Instead, he focused all of his attention on attempts to overturn the election results and only ignited conspiracy theories by backing a series of fierce claims. Following a year in which Trump refused to promulgate federal standards for social distancing, create a federal case detection and detection system, promoted hydroxychloroquine as a “miracle” and offered to inject l bleach, the refusal to promote the vaccine when it became available was the sickly cherry on a poison parfait. When Trump himself received the vaccine, he did so in secret, and the fact that he was even vaccinated was not revealed until long after he left.
The result is situations like that in Texas, where the Texas Tribune reports that a large majority of Republicans have rejected the vaccine. Their poll shows that “59% of Republicans said they were hesitant to get the vaccine or would categorically refuse it. With 52% of the vote in Texas for Trump in 2020, this suggests that a majority of adults in Texas will refuse to be vaccinated.
The result of this reluctance may already be visible in CDC data. Texas is number 48 out of 50 states for immunization rates. And it’s one of a group of southern states – Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Mississippi, and Tennessee – that together are way behind other states. Some of these problems may stem from bad assumptions on the part of officials. For example, Georgia cut vaccine shipments to the state’s largest county on these false assumptions that black communities are the most reluctant to accept the vaccine.
Vaccination efforts in many Red states are likely already being significantly slowed down by the low vaccine acceptance rate among Republicans. The $ 3 billion targeted for raising awareness and combating conspiracy theories can help. But Donald Trump’s refusal to help end a crisis that is largely of his own accord still acts as a significant obstacle. As in Georgia, Trump has shown he has no qualms about attacking state officials, so it’s not clear that other Republican leaders are ready to be strong supporters of the vaccination effort. or that whoever will listen to them in any case.
Current trends show the nation is heading towards a situation where the number of unvaccinated people in red states is more than enough to maintain an endemic presence of COVID-19. In the bluer areas of the country, critical numbers for herd immunity can be reached, limiting the spread of the community. However, that would provide little guarantee of safety when the red states offered a constant source of fresh viruses – and new variants.