Coronavirus Briefing: What Happened Today
When the doses reach you
Demand for vaccines in the United States is declining. The country inoculates an average of about 1.8 million people per day, up from about 3.3 million in mid-April.
Part of the problem is access. Some people are cluttered with jobs or the responsibility of child care. Others struggle with extreme poverty. Many are adrift, out of reach or misinformed.
So, across the country, health officials are bringing vaccines on the road, sometimes even to the doors of potential patients.
In Sussex County, Del., Many residents live in poverty, making them more vulnerable to the virus. But a trip to a doctor or a vaccination appointment may require navigating irregular bus routes or losing a day’s pay.
In April, teams from Beebe Healthcare and local partners added workstations to a bus that had served as a mobile library. Workers, able to vaccinate 50 people in several hours, listen to and dispel misinformation – in English, Spanish and Creole.
In New York City, black and Hispanic residents are vaccinated at significantly lower rates than other groups. Now public health officials are reaching out to unvaccinated residents. Community groups are knocking on doors persuading people to get the vaccine, and in some cases, those who agree get appointments for doses at a temporary clinic nearby.
To reach homeless people in Washington state, officials have set up a wheeled clinic in Pioneer Square in Seattle. Thomas Dunlap noticed the mobile clinic by accident and accepted an inoculation with relief. So was Michael Clinger, another homeless man, who said he was “tired of wearing a mask”.
In rural areas, lack of access to technology and transportation during the pandemic defined the potential for life, death or debilitating disease.
In Minnesota, the state health department and other partners turned six city buses into clinics. The seats were removed and vaccination posts were installed. Personal protective equipment, awnings, tents and snacks have been stowed on board. Up to eight people travel along, vaccinating 10 to 180 people at an event.
Emily Smoak, a health department planner, said the teams at the mobile clinics aimed to build confidence and reduce the impact of the virus on communities.
“We show up in communities and say to people, ‘You matter. We’re not just going to leave you out of the larger process, ”Smoak said.
Vaccination campaigns in Asia
Two of China’s neighbors have launched divergent vaccination campaigns, and their disparate results show the value of a muscular deployment.
At the start of the pandemic, Taiwan closed its borders and demanded the quarantine of almost anyone arriving from abroad, mostly protecting themselves from the worst of the virus. But that recently changed after enough infections crept in to cause localized outbreaks.
The country has reported 200 to 350 new infections per day over the past few days, after registering just 1,290 since the start of the pandemic until Saturday. The slowness of the country’s vaccination campaign is amplifying concerns. Only about 1 percent of the island’s 23.5 million people have been vaccinated. Scenes across the country now resemble those of the early days of the pandemic, with businesses closed and queues around the block at test sites. Experts say the slow vaccination pace and more transmissible virus variants have created a perfect window for an outbreak.
Mongolia, on the other hand, has used its status as a small geopolitical player between Russia and China to strike deals with the two countries to acquire enough doses to vaccinate its entire adult population. This is a big win for a low-income country, which has taken doses with a speed similar to the pace of much richer countries despite the delay in the global vaccine rush.
The country has faced a violent epidemic that began in March, but cases have declined over the past month, and officials are so confident of the country’s vaccine wealth that they promise citizens a “Covid-free summer “.