More Americans express enthusiasm for COVID-19 vaccine
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The U.S. vaccination campaign is being challenged by the pause in use of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine pending the investigation of rare but severe blood clots.
In the two months prior to this setback, however, vaccination has accelerated dramatically across the country; Fewer people are now expressing hesitation or opposition to the COVID-19 vaccine. The Kaiser Family Foundation reports that the share of Americans who want a COVID-19 shot right away, or have already been vaccinated, has nearly doubled to over 60% since December.
Different groups continue to feel differently about the vaccine, though, and Black Americans are reportedly less enthusiastic about vaccination than white and Latinx counterparts. Kaiser Family Foundation researcher Ashley Kirzinger said that reflects a lack of information and access. Kirzinger cited a recent survey of rural Americans that found Black adults were “less likely to say they have enough information about where to get vaccinated, when they’re eligible, and reported having to travel further.”
In Kansas City, Missouri, the Rev. Eric Williams of Calvary Temple Baptist Church has been promoting COVID-19 education in the Black community there. He said vaccination is picking up. “Places that we could beef up are with the elderly and more door-to-door campaigns,” Williams said. According to APM Research Lab data, 13.5% of Black Missourians have been vaccinated, compared to 22.7% of the state’s white residents.
COVID-19 Economy FAQs
Millions of Americans are unemployed, but businesses say they are having trouble hiring. Why?
This economic crisis is unusual compared to traditional recessions, according to Daniel Zhao, senior economist with Glassdoor. “Many workers are still sitting out of the labor force because of health concerns or child care needs, and that makes it tough to find workers regardless of what you’re doing with wages or benefits,” Zhao said. “An extra dollar an hour isn’t going to make a cashier with preexisting conditions feel that it’s safe to return to work.” This can be seen in the restaurant industry: Some workers have quit or are reluctant to apply because of COVID-19 concerns, low pay, meager benefits and the stress that comes with a fast-paced, demanding job. Restaurants have been willing to offer signing bonuses and temporary wage increases. One McDonald’s is even paying people $50 just to interview.
Could waiving patents increase the global supply of COVID-19 vaccines?
India and South Africa have introduced a proposal to temporarily suspend patents on COVID-19 vaccines. Backers of the plan say it would increase the supply of vaccines around the world by allowing more countries to produce them. Skeptics say it’s not that simple. There’s now enough supply in the U.S that any adult who wants a shot should be able to get one soon. That reality is years away for most other countries. More than 100 countries have backed the proposal to temporarily waive COVID-19 vaccine patents. The U.S isn’t one of them, but the White House has said it’s considering the idea.
Can businesses deny you entry if you don’t have a vaccine passport?
As more Americans get vaccinated against COVID-19 and the economy continues reopening, some businesses are requiring proof of vaccination to enter their premises. The concept of a vaccine passport has raised ethical questions about data privacy and potential discrimination against the unvaccinated. However, legal experts say businesses have the right to deny entrance to those who can’t show proof.
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