Despite encouraging national trends in coronavirus-related hospitalizations and cases, the director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) worries that “pandemic fatigue” come spring could significantly hamper the country’s trajectory toward vaccination-induced herd immunity.
The comments from Dr. Rochelle Walensky also come as additional states continue to detect highly transmissible coronavirus variants first identified in the United Kingdom (B.1.1.7) and South Africa (B.1.351). A separate variant first found in Brazil (P.1) has also been identified in two states. CDC models have projected that the B.1.1.7 strain could become dominant in the US by March.
“I worry that it will be spring and we will all have had enough,” Walensky told Dr. Howard Bauchner, editor-in-chief of JAMA in an interview Wednesday. “At around that time, I worry that life will feel and look a little bit better and the motivation for those who might be vaccine hesitant will be diminished.”
While states are grappling with vaccine supply issues now, an inflection point will come where supply will exceed demand, Walensky said, noting