The United States of America is ranked no:7 in the world with regards to vaccine distributions and consists of about 48% of the population that is fully vaccinated against the coronavirus.
It has been reported that a few significant regions in the nation have been experiencing a hard hit by the Covid-19 virus due to its resistance to the vaccines or lagging distribution of vaccines to the population that is known to be underserved mostly communities like Hispanic and Black.
To fix the inconsistency in the distribution of the vaccines and to tackle the country’s increasing case numbers from the most contagious variant Delta. The public health leaders, as experts say, must ensure they take all the necessary approaches that are needed to be taken in order to make an increase in the vaccination rates and also make vaccines much accessible, while also taking care of those hesitant in taking the vaccine due to misinformation surrounding it.
HOW THE U.S CAN SPIKE UP LAGGING VACCINATION RATES?
Few perspectives were shared by experts on addressing these challenges, in a virtual event that was seen focusing on the improvement of community health across the nation.
As per Dr. Jose Romero who is known to be the secretary of the Arkansas Department of Health, Arkansas is now the epicenter for the delta variant rush in the nation, at this point. The state, at the present, has one of the highest numbers of new positive cases per capita, along with low vaccination rates, which is about 35% of the population is completely vaccinated, as per John Hopkins University.
It has been agreed by the panelists that the cost of this upcoming, hopefully not, pandemic will be far greater if a certain portion of the Americans who are not vaccinated, do not get their shots sooner.
Romero was seen expressing concerns about the approach of reopening of schools for the 2021-22 academic year, as many states that also include Arkansas, have prohibited school districts from ensuring that students wear masks. Romero added that the previous year, during the reopening of the lockdown, they made sure their schools re-open and done successfully too, as there were distancing barriers, physical barriers for the spread, and did not happen to experience large outbreaks. This year, Romero says he expects to see large outbreaks within the education system and what has already been telling him that it is going to happen is the number of daycare closures that have happened due to the outbreaks, camp exposures, and closures.
To address the low vaccination rates in certain communities across the United States of America, Panelists’ resounding message was that vaccine accessibility is about more than just creating a spike in the availability of vaccines.
If one does not have a paid sick leave, if one does not have a health-insurance and if one is worried about potentially holding some health care expenses grow up from your vaccination, are some real issues that are playing out disproportionately in communities that have lower-income and in communities of color, as per Julia Ryan who is known to be the Vise President of Health Initiatives at LISC which is Local Initiatives Support Corporation known to be a nonprofit community development organization.
Panelists also cited, along with paid time off, that transportation could or is a barrier to getting a vaccine, Although 85% of the citizens of America live within 10 miles of a CVS pharmacy, few still seem to have difficulty getting to vaccine websites, as mentioned by Dr. Sonja Hughes who is the Vice President of strategy and service excellence at AETNA which is a CVS health business. To the undeserved minorities, CVS administered 34% of its in-store vaccines, Hughes stated.
To make vaccines more accessible, as per Hughes, a CVS health initiative that could connect people with Lyft raised to vaccination sites. LISC was also seen launching a Vaccine Access Fund with Uber, to target those without smartphones o credit cards who other side would be unable to book a ride service or a -ride-sharing service, as Ryan said.