NEWARK — The refrigerator had only six small vials of coronavirus vaccine, one Air Force nurse, and a small number of patients on a federal-run mass vaccination site here on Saturday morning. .. The day before the door closed completely, this once enthusiastic operation was strangely quiet.
The post-vaccination waiting room with 165 socially distant chairs was almost empty. Major Margaret Dodd, a nurse caring for premature babies at the Brooke Army Medical Center in Fort Sam Houston, San Antonio, had already booked a return flight. So did the pharmacist Heather Sturmp, who returned to a nursing school in Wyoming.
A large number of vaccination sites are closed nationwide.The White House first admitted it on Tuesday Will not reach President Biden’s goal 70% of American adults will be vaccinated at least partially by July 4. hesitation In a particular group Young adult And a whirlpool of other complex factors.
The Newark site, which closed on Sunday, was the last of 39 federally-run mass vaccination centers that had millions of vaccinations in five months in 27 states. This is a major turning point in our efforts. Mr. Biden explained Last week, as “one of the biggest and most complex logistical challenges in American history.” Many state-owned sites are also closed or will be closed soon.
The country’s shift from mass vaccination centers recognizes a difficult path ahead as health authorities shift their focus to “ground games.” Highly targeted pushConvince those who are reluctant to get their shots, similar to an effort to cancel a vote.
Biden will visit Raleigh, NC on Thursday to highlight this time-consuming task. It’s not easy, as President Anthony S. Fauci, President’s Coronavirus Response Coordinator, discovered when he went last weekend. Door knock With Mayor Muriel E. Bauser in Anacostia, a black settlement in Washington.
In an interview on Tuesday, Dr. Forch said he and the mayor spent 90 minutes talking to people at their doorstep. However, many continued to hesitate, even if a celebrity doctor was at the front door and had the prospect of a free gift at a high school vaccination center a few blocks away. Dr. Forch said he had persuaded 6 to 10 people to take shots, despite encountering some flat denials.
“We said,” OK, come on, listen. Get out, walk down the street and go a few blocks away. Incentives, $ 51 gift vouchers, raffle participation, one year You can get groceries and you can get jeeps, “says Dr. Fauci. “And some of them said,’OK, I’m on the way, and I’m going.'”
But in Newark, where more than three-quarters of the population is black or Latino American, the numbers tell the story. In Essex County, New Jersey, including Newark, 70.2 percent of adults are vaccinated. However, Essex also includes wealthy suburbs. In Newark, this figure is 56%, state health commissioner Judith M. Persicily said in an interview.
The Newark vaccination site is located in a remodeled athletic facility at the New Jersey Institute of Technology, which is usually home to the school’s tennis team, and was established and operated by the Federal Emergency Management Agency in collaboration with the Department of Defense and other federal agencies. it was done. It opened on March 31st. While operating at Full Tilt, the medical staff also administered 6,700 shots daily.
By Saturday, the daily tally had dropped to about 300. The long corridor-like tent that once protected the patient lines from the cold was empty. Of the 18 registration desks, only four were in use and most vaccination rooms were vacant.
Most patients, including teenagers brought by their parents, were there for a second dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine. Many people are hesitant, like Abdullah Heath, 19, who plans to attend Rutgers University in the fall after graduating from high school for a year. However, Rutgers needed vaccination, so Heath had little choice.
“I wanted to wait to see what others were doing when they took the shot,” he said.
Argentine real estate agent Alfredo Sahar, 36, said he took his first dose at that moment without a promise when he and his wife tagged the Newark site. The couple appeared on Saturday for a second dose with a young friend, Federico Quadrado, 19, who visited from Argentina and received the first shot.
“Loosen this arm,” said Major Dodd, with Cuadrado rolling up his sleeves. But she doesn’t manage his second shot. The site has been closed and he has to go elsewhere.
At the height of the vaccination drive, there were seven mass sites in New Jersey. Six are run by the state, and there was also a Newark FEMA site. Nurse and former hospital official Persicily said two sites in the state were shut down, one closed this week and the last three scheduled to close in mid-July. She called the FEMA site, which vaccinated a total of 221,130 people, “irreplaceable.”
Biden reiterates that making care and vaccines equally accessible to people of all races and incomes is crucial to his coronavirus response. FEMA has used the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s “Social Vulnerability Index” to locate mass vaccination sites to identify the communities in need, says FEMA administrator Deanne Criswell. Said in an interview.
She said it was a learning experience for the authorities, adding that 58 percent of the approximately 6 million injections given at the mass vaccination site were given to people of color.
“There was no guidance for this type of surgery,” said Chriswell. (The agency is currently 1 It is page 44. )
In New Jersey, traffic on mass vaccination sites began to decline about six weeks ago, Persichilli said. Around that time, the state moved to a “hub-and-spoke” strategy, creating pop-up sites in churches, hairdressers, and storefronts surrounding existing vaccination centers where vaccines could be stored and supplied.
The state also has 2,000 campaigners (some of whom are paid 1,200 in federal taxpayers’ dollars and 800 volunteers) knocking 134,000 doors in areas with low vaccination rates, bringing people closer. I took you to the clinic. The Ministry of Health is also planning vaccine clinics at Atlantic City’s Rock Music Festival, Balloon Festival and Rodeo.
Overall, New Jersey is far more advanced than most states. 78% of adults have been vaccinated at least once. In 4 states — Mississippi, Alabama, Louisiana Wyoming — This number is less than 50 percent.
“We are running a marathon, and we are in the last few miles, and we are exhausted, and they will be the hardest,” Persicily said. “But they will also be the most satisfying.”
Public health officials know that the last mile of a vaccination campaign is actually the hardest. The eradication of smallpox, considered the greatest public health victory of the 20th century, occurred after it was highly targeted. Global campaign It lasted 20 years. Dr. Forch said polio has not yet been eradicated in some countries due to vaccine hesitation, including women who express unfounded fear of infertility.
“We should have eradicated polio long ago,” he said.
According to Sonya Bernstein, senior policy adviser to the White House, the federal government’s efforts have been enormous, with more than 9,000 people from across the government participating and 30,000 National Guards in 58 states and territories Covid-19. We support vaccination.
FEMA also plays an important role as large-scale vaccination sites shrink.The agency still supports over 2,200 Local vaccination center And Mobile vaccination unit.. FEMA is currently deploying a new pilot program that provides shots at or near a recovery center set up after a hurricane or other natural disaster. The first of these opened this week in the Parish of St. Charles, Louisiana. Attacked by Hurricane Roller last summer. Only 51% of the adult population of the Parish of St. Charles has at least one shot. According to the data From CDC
In Newark, Saturday’s mood was bittersweet. People like Major Dodd and Mr. Sturmp in crisis were exchanging phone numbers with newly found friends and colleagues when they were planning to go on different paths. After living in the hotel for more than two months, they both eagerly aspired to leave and longed for the outlook.
Michael Moriarty, a FEMA employee responsible for vaccination in the New Jersey-New Jersey area, said empty cubicles and chairs, a box of unused latex gloves, and brown paper taped to the floor to cover the tennis courts. I investigated the scene such as. “They will play tennis here on the weekends,” he added.
It’s all about “ground games” as mass vaccination sites shrink
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