Maybe the way to fight vaccine hesitancy is to do less?


MINOT, N.D. — North Dakota’s progress on vaccinations has stalled.

In March, the state averaged 6,013 doses administered per day. In April that average was 3,980 per day. By May we were down to 1,492 per day, and June saw the daily average drop to 1,023.

So far in July, we’re averaging just 563 doses, with a long way to go before we hit the coverage rates experts say we need to extinguish the threat of COVID-19.

In June I wrote that our state’s one-dose vaccination rate had finally crossed the 50% milestone, but even that good news has been reeled back in. Per the state Department of Health’s vaccination data dashboard, the one-dose coverage rate is back down to 48.4% as of July 11.

I’m not sure why that is — a call to the Department of Health as I wrote this column wasn’t immediately returned — but perhaps expanded eligibility and population shifts have impacted the calculation?

Whatever the reason, the campaign to get people vaccinated in our state has stalled.

What can be done?

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