According to the Kaiser Family Foundation (KFF), vaccine supply will outpace demand within the next two to four weeks.
Most experts say that at least 70 percent of the population have to be immunized or have to have natural immunity from infection to achieve herd immunity.
However, only 40.5 percent of Americans have received at least one dose and 26.4 percent are fully immunized, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
If the pace of vaccinations slow down before herd immunity is reached, it could lead to the spread of variants and delay the return to normalcy even further.
At the current pace of vaccinations, with about 1.7 million first doses being administered a day, vaccine supply will outpace demand in 15 days (far left) with 51.5% of adults have received at least one dose and about 61% in total planning to do so
If between one-third and one-half of adults who plan to ‘wait and see’ decide to get the shot, it will take about four weeks to reach the ‘tipping point.’ Pictured: Walmart pharmacy technician Amber McGowan (left) gives James Williams the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine at the Jackson Medical Mall in Jackson, Mississippi, April 15
‘While timing may differ by state, we estimate that across the U.S. as a whole we will likely reach a tipping point on vaccine enthusiasm in the next [two] to [four] weeks,’ the report reads.
‘Once this happens, efforts to encourage vaccination will become much harder, presenting a challenge to reaching the levels of herd immunity that are expected to be needed.’
According to a recent poll from KFF, 61 percent of adults, about 157 million, have either received one vaccine dose or want to get vaccinated as soon as they can – an increase from 55 percent the month before
As of Wednesday afternoon, 51.5 percent, or 133 million, have already done so, CDC data show.
This means that 24 million adults will still need at least one dose before the so-called ‘enthusiasm limit’ is meant.
The KFF report found that with an average of 1.7 million first doses being administered each day, it will take 15 days – or two weeks – administered each day to vaccinate everyone who wants one.
About 17 percent of adults – representative of 38.4 million – said they plan to ‘wait and see’ before getting vaccinated.
If about a one-third of that group gets vaccinated, then it will take 22 days to reach the ‘tipping point.’
If half of the ‘wait and see’ group move, it will take about 28 days to reach the point where supply outstrips demand.
Several counties and clinics across the U.S. are already starting to see fewer people sign up for a shot.
MaryEllen Pratt, CEO of St James Parish Hospital, in Louisiana, told USA Today that when vaccinations first rolled out, about 500 people a day were given their shot.
Currently, about 200 people per day are being vaccinated, despite all residents above age 16 being eligible.
‘We always felt the vaccine was like gold and it was precious,’ said Pratt said.
‘We’re having more trouble filling our schedules…more people can get it, but we’re finding less people interested in getting it.’
Additionally, the number of counties with unfilled vaccine appointments at chain retailers such as Walmart and CVS and Rite Aid increased 30 percent from 847 on April 5 to 1,139 as of Tuesday , according to an analysis from GoodRx.
Experts say that until enough Americans get vaccinated, fully immunized people shoyld keep following measures such as mask-wearing.
‘If you are vaccinated, you are protecting yourself and you probably won’t get sick but we don’t know how long the virus is going to live in your respiratory system after you catch it,’ Dr Jorge Rodriguez, and internal medicine specialist told CNN.
‘So therefore, you are potentially contagious to others.’