According to data obtained from the official website of www.vaccines.gov, people are showing an increased interest in getting the shots.
Enthusiasm In Vaccination Spiked Followed By CDC’s Latest Announcement Regarding The Mask Guidelines
The shift was observed after the announcements came from Dr. Rochelle Walensky, director of the US Center for Disease Control and Prevention that, fully vaccinated individuals can forego their masks for outdoor and select indoor events.
Vaccines embraced, followed by the latest announcement.
The announcements with the new set of guidelines about taking off the masks came about two weeks ago, and ever since a shift has been noticed among the populace that is keen on getting immunized.
As stated by Dr. Jonathan Reiner, professor of medicine and surgery at George Washington University School of Medicine, the guideline of removal of masks was an incentive that has worked.
Drawing an example, Reiner says, it was more like people loved the carrot and the carrot was the license to let go off of masks after vaccination.
The announcements of Dr. Wallensky came on 13th May 2021, after which the number of visitors to the official vaccine website has increased rapidly, which was marked the second-highest since the launch of the website on 30th April 2021.
John Brownstein, the co-founder of VaccineFinder, a system that works for vaccine.gov, terms it as an amazing shift for the people.
Controversies around the move:
Dr. Anthony Fauci, the chief medical advisor of President Joe Biden, issued a statement a few hours after the announcements of Dr. Wallensky.
It implies that the decisions of the CDC do not signify any incentive for vaccination. However, it might have indirectly prompted people to opt for the shots.
The announcement made by the CDC was received with critical apprehension from people as they feared that this will encourage unvaccinated individuals to take off their masks rather than encouraging people to go for vaccination.
Data from the CDC shows that the covid-19 cases in the USA have seen a steady decline since 13th May 2021.
Previously declined vaccination numbers hiked after the announcement.
As stated by Brownstein, the hike in the vaccination number can be attributed to the CDC announcement and the statement of the president. It is evident from the timing of the surge in traffic in the vaccine website on 13th May.
Brownstein further implies that the easing out of certain covid-19 protocols that will be allowed only after vaccination encouraged people to go for the shots.
Not just the website traffic, but the turnout for actual vaccination also increased after 13th May, which was otherwise declining in the previous months.
What actually caused the shift?
Which factors actually contributed to shifting the perspective of the people regarding vaccination is yet to be cleared.
This is because the day previous to the announcement of Dr.Wallensky, the CDC advisory committee issued another statement authorizing the use of Pfizer covid-19 vaccine for adolescents between 12-15 years of age.
This opened up the vaccination channel for an additional 17 million Americans.
The addition of that large number of young people definitely increased the total number of Americans getting vaccinated, although data shows that even the number of older people vaccinated has increased after the CDC announcements.
The way ahead
As stated by Brownstein, although a majority of Americans had lost faith in the scientists and the government healthcare institutions like the CDC, the altered mask guideline of 13th May, appealed to a subset of the population.
This is an important lesson that should be learned by the government health officials about convincing the other vast proportion of the population that is still cynical about getting the vaccines.
As suggested by Reiner, the CDC and the public health officials should adopt this approach of showing positive reinforcement to the people and communicate more often as that produces desirable results in the long run.