To confront COVID-19, U.S. needs to improve existing vaccination rates

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The race is on to develop a COVID-19 vaccine, but even when one becomes available a large challenge will still exist: getting enough people vaccinated.
In the 2018-2019 influenza season the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported that 45.3 percent of adults and 62.6 percent of children in the United States received an influenza vaccine. In order to create herd immunity, the COVID-19 vaccination rates must be much higher.
Misinformation and fear are two of the main causes of low vaccination numbers, according to Anupam Jena, the Ruth L. Newhouse Associate Professor of Health Care Policy in the Blavatnik Institute at Harvard Medical School, and Chris Worsham, HMS clinical and research fellow at Massachusetts General Hospital, who wrote about this problem in July in the The Washington Post and STAT.
But other challenges like lack of access and high prices also act as barriers.
In a study published in the New England Journal of Medicine in July, Jena and Worsham found that children born in November are 13 percent more likely to receive influenza vaccines than children born in July. Those with fall birthdays receive vaccines at their annual checkups, while children born at other times …

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