In Las Vegas, officials have set up a vaccine injection clinic in a strip club. In Washington, California and several other states, cash prices are being offered to people who get their COVID-19 shots. There are plans being developed to use drones to deliver vaccines to folks in out-of-the-way places and remote oil rigs.

These steps are being taken because all the people who were anxiously waiting to get their shots have gotten them. The early vaccination targets set by the Biden administration were achieved ahead of time. Now, the tough part has begun: convincing millions of vaccination skeptics to join with the rest of us and bring the country close to herd immunity.

Even with the drones, prizes and strippers, there is a large cohort that will resist. Some people fear the side effects of the shot more than they fear getting the virus. Others just can’t be bothered with getting it done or they worry – wrongly – that it will cost too much (it’s free) or they don’t like needles or doctors or smarty pants experts or big government.

Or they watch too much Fox News and listen to too much right-wing radio or believe the wild things they read on social media and have become convinced that the vaccine is some kind of nefarious plot to put tracking devices into their brains or make them vote for a Democrat or give up their guns.

Because of these millions of holdouts, this country may never reach effective herd immunity. It will be an inexact, harsh justice if COVID-19 and its more virulent mutations are stalking the unvaccinated among us for years to come. 

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