US will run out of enthusiastic vaccine recipients soon, KFF predicts

Most Americans enthusiastic about getting vaccinated against COVID-19 will receive their shots by mid-May, according to Kaiser Family Foundation analysis.

The analysis, released April 20, predicted U.S. vaccine enthusiasm will reach a tipping point in two to four weeks.

The prediction is based on Americans' recent attitudes toward receiving COVID-19 vaccines. KFF's most recent poll showed that as of March 21, 61 percent of Americans have either already received a COVID-19 vaccine or want to get vaccinated as soon as possible, up from 55 percent the previous month. That increase comes primarily from Americans who have shifted from a "wait and see" attitude to vaccine enthusiasm, according to KFF.

That 61 percent of Americans (157 million adults) will be vaccinated by May 5 if the U.S. maintains its current vaccination pace, which is about 1.7 million doses per day. If more Americans move from the "wait and see" group to the vaccine-enthusiastic group, it could take a week or two longer for the U.S. to administer shots to its residents who want COVID-19 vaccines.

Without widespread vaccine acceptance, the U.S. faces a significant challenge to reaching herd immunity, the point when enough Americans are immune to the novel coronavirus that it can no longer spread throughout the population. Once the vaccine-enthusiastic population receives their shots, the country will face more difficulty in its efforts to encourage COVID-19 vaccinations.

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