There is encouraging news in the war against COVID-19. The numbers of new cases in the U.S. are dropping, the number of those fully vaccinated is rising and research is finding the vaccines may be effective in adolescents.
But the U.S. is not taking its foot off the gas because health officials insist vaccination is the only way to get back to some semblance of normal. Some stats indicate the U.S. death toll from COVID is around 580,000, closing in on 600,000. Advocates say getting vaccinated is still a matter of life and death.
So now, a new army of foot soldiers is going door to door in some communities giving the vaccines a direct voice. This comes as about a third of the country is fully vaccinated.
“This is a campaign, this is a campaign,” said Gaylene Kanoyton of Celebrate healthcare. “And we have two candidates. Our candidates are a vaccine for life, and COVID for death.”
Both Moderna and Pfizer are reporting research showing their vaccines are safe and effective in adolescents. Researchers say the Pfizer vaccine also appears to be effective against troubling variants.
The goal would be to make sure that the vaccine is available for vaccinating adolescents over the course of the summer and at least before the coming school year,” said Moderna President Stephen Hoge.
“Don’t be worried, don’t be scared,” said Ben Dropic, a teen who volunteered for the Pfizer trial. “The people here know what they’re doing.”
The good news is that the U.S. is reporting daily new infections are down 11% over a week ago. But so are the number of shots, falling by more than a million per day since mid-April. And a new poll shows just 9 percent of unvaccinated Americans are making plans to get the shot.
It’s why places like New York City are getting creative, rolling out mobile vaccination sites where they will offer the one-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine to tourists in Time Square and Central Park.
“Come here, it’s a safe place to be, and we are going to take care of you,” said New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio.
Along with those efforts comes an easing of restrictions as tickets for Broadway shows for the fall are going on sale. And near the nation’s capital, an arm of the National Air and Space Museum has reopened.
“You know, there is something nice about having a museum of intelligence, which is essentially what this is, a museum of creativity and problem solving,” said Karim Ani, a museum visitor. “And, you know, maybe this is a metaphor for what we’ve lost, but hopefully it’s a reminder of what we can regain.”
This week President Biden set a goal of getting 70% of U.S. adults to receive at least one dose of a COVID vaccine by July 4. As of Wednesday, about 57% of adults had done so.