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Yep, they're still trying to make fetch happen
And by fetch, I mean this fall's mRNA Covid boosters. The elite media is STILL pretending there's unmet demand. Luckily, no one is listening - or taking the shots.
Can’t make it up.
Though The New York Times tried. On Monday, the Times ran a piece bemoaning the difficulty Americans supposedly face in getting new Covid boosters. The headline:
Some Covid Vaccines Are Still Hard to Find
This is a complete inversion of reality. Or, as the kids say, LOL.
The Centers for Disease Control no longer offers up-to-date statistics on Covid shots. But some state health departments still provide weekly data. They show that even in blue states that once embraced the mRNAs, demand for the jabs is near zero.
The flop comes despite public health and media exhortations and massive advertising campaigns from the jab companies. Health bureaucrats and Pfizer and Moderna hoped that positioning Covid jabs as once-a-year injections alongside flu shots would increase demand.
They were wrong.
(Because the truth won’t report itself. But I will, for 20 cents a day. Join me!)
Here’s the reality. Weekly data from three large blue states - Colorado, Washington, and Massachusetts - shows that jab demand trails even the dismal launch of the “bivalent” mRNA vaccines last fall, which resulted in just 17 percent of Americans receiving jabs.
Colorado gave out 540,000 Covid jabs in September and October. That figure may sound like a lot, but it is under 10 percent of the state population - and it lags the figure over the same period in 2022 by about one-quarter.
Similarly, Washington state administered 840,000 jabs through early November, or 11 percent of its population - a decline of about 30 percent compared to 2022.
And Massachusetts, which is extraordinarily liberal and had near-complete adult vaccination in 2021, is at 12 percent - compared to about 27 percent for flu shots.
Further, the states all appear to have exhausted demand. Even though the jabs were rolled out slightly later in 2023 than 2022, administrations peaked at lower levels in October and are now declining faster.
(Less is more. Except if you’re a Moderna or Pfizer shareholder. Note that the pink link - the number of jabs given in 2023 - dropped particularly quickly last week.)
In fact, data from the 2022-23 bivalent booster campaign suggest that most of the people who want to take this year’s shot have already done so, even without accounting for the surprisingly rapid decline in demand in the last few days.
Washington and Massachusetts are likely to struggle to reach 20 percent coverage, while Colorado may not even get to 15 percent. These numbers are shockingly low, given that all three states ranked in the top 15 nationally during the initial mRNA rollout.
Last month, Pfizer projected that 17 percent of Americans, or about 55 million people, would receive this year’s booster, the same number who received the bivalent. The company reduced that projection from 24 percent a few weeks before.
But the updated state data suggests the new number is still too high. The figure is more likely to be 9 to 13 percent of Americans, or 30 million to 45 million shots in all.
The plunging demand comes even though Pfizer and Moderna have run massive ad campaigns for this fall’s boosters.
Pfizer cleverly - and cynically - tried to tie its jab to the flu shot, using Travis Kelce, a 34-year-old football player whose age and robust health make him a particularly inappropriate spokesman. Kelce is almost surely more likely to get mRNA-related myocarditis than suffer a serious Covid complication.
Meanwhile, Moderna went with a genuinely weird, if eye-catching, campaign that features the slogan “Spikevax that body.” (Yes, Spikevax is the official name for Moderna’s mRNA-1273 Covid jab - another dubious choice, and one the company rarely used before this fall. Pfizer’s BNT162b2 shot is officially known as Comirnaty, or as I used to refer to it on Twitter, “Come Here Naughty.”)
(Spikevax will not protect everyone? Now you tell us!)
Wall Street knows that demand has cratered and has fled Pfizer and Moderna. The two companies now trade below their levels in November 2020, before they released the results from clinical trials that seemed to show the shots work.
Yet in the media’s fantasy world, the real obstacle to Covid vaccinations is not demand but administrative hurdles to overwhelming demand.
In its article Monday, the Times blamed “distribution issues” and “snags with the new billing codes” in the second paragraph, the fact that jabs “have been slow to reach doctors’ offices” in the fourth, and the closing of mass vaccination sites in the eighth.
Only in the article’s ninth paragraph did the Times acknowledge “declining interest in getting vaccinated” - and then only as a factor that “has made it tough for doctors and pharmacists to correctly judge the demand when ordering shots.”
If the Times actually wanted to report the truth on the mRNAs, it would spend less time making excuses for the overwhelming public rejection of the boosters and more time investigating the root causes.
Alas, three years into the largest public health experiment in history - the dosing of over 1 billion people with a novel and barely tested biotechnology - the paper and its elite media competitors remain committed to burying their collective heads in the sand.
Covid jabs may not be good for much in the way of protection. But they sure have immunized a huge swath of reporters from anything resembling reality.