AUBURN, Ala. — During the first week in June, it was estimated that 40 percent of the U.S. population has been fully vaccinated against COVID-19 and 60 percent have received one dose.
The Biden administration had set a goal of vaccinating 70 percent of the U.S. population by July 4, since in the region of 75-80 percent of our population should be immune to the predominant strain and variants of SARS-CoV-2 virus. Experience in South Africa, India and the European Union has demonstrated that a population with a high level of susceptibility and with an increasing incidence rate will result in the evolution of mutants. These may be more infectious and have greater pathogenicity than the original January 2020 strain, thereby delaying effective control of the pandemic.
A number of surveys have been conducted to determine the acceptability of the two mRNA vaccines (Pfizer and Moderna) and the adenovirus-vectored single-dose Johnson & Johnson product. Among all three major ethnic groups, 13-16 percent have stated that they absolutely are unwilling to receive the vaccine. Approximately 25 percent of our population is following a wait-and-see approach, and about 15 percent, especially those under 30 years of age, will receive a vaccine “when convenient.”