The United States is working toward the end of the coronavirus pandemic, but a major challenge exists — getting hesitant Americans vaccinated.

National Institutes of Health director Dr. Francis Collins recently told CNN that there are still tens of millions of Americans who haven’t been vaccinated yet against the coronavirus.

  • Collins told CNN that “a lot of those folks are still not sure that they want to take part in this amazing opportunity to put this virus behind us.”
  • “We have to really figure out how to get the messages out there so that those who are still undecided get the information they need to see why this is really something they would want to do.”

Vaccine supply and demand

Collins’ comments come as a new report from the Kaiser Family Foundation suggested the U.S. will soon reach a “tipping point where vaccine supply will outlast demand,” meaning everyone who wants the vaccine will have gotten it and focus will turn toward encouraging those who are hesitant to get vaccinated.

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The U.S. may soon hit a COVID-19 vaccine wall. Here’s what that means

Collins told CNN the U.S. will have a better shot of ending the pandemic if more people get vaccinated.

  • “If we’re going to get past this terrible pandemic, it’s going to take most of us being immunized. Otherwise, the virus can just keep going on and on,” Collins said, according to CNN.

Vaccine wall, explained

Earlier in April, an analysis from Surgo Ventures — a global health foundation that provides data for health policies — suggested that the United States might soon meet demand for the COVID-19 vaccine, as I wrote about for the Deseret News.

The Surgo Ventures analysis suggested that the “the supply-demand shift for the vaccine will happen earlier than expected — as early as the end of April — and before the nation reaches the 70-90% threshold for achieving herd immunity.”

Axios reported that the United States would hit a “vaccine wall,” where there’s plenty of vaccines but little demand for it. This is why the “focus will abruptly shift to convincing holdouts to get vaccinated.”

  • “This analysis shows that despite the general vaccine enthusiasm we are seeing now in the United States, things are going to get really difficult really soon,” said Sema Sgaier, Surgo’s CEO, according to Axios.
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