The U.S. has come a long way since two years ago, when people were cutting the line to get their vaccine.

Many people don't mind getting updated boosters. Only 15% of people eligible for the COVID booster shot that targets the omicron variant have gotten it. According to a recent poll by the Kaiser Family Foundation, vaccine fatigue is spreading to other shots.

The executive director of the Association of Immunization Managers says that it's very concerning.

As the country heads towards the end of its third Pandemic year, NPR talked to experts on immunization, health communication and public health to find out how we should all be thinking about the vaccine.

1. Realize that vaccines are still a good tool

There were a lot of questions about the new COVID vaccines, but now they have answers. We don't know if we need more shots. Yes, that's right. Will it last long? Over time, the immune system fades. Is it possible to get a full course of vaccine after a bout of CoVID? As the virus continues to evolve, it is more likely that it will get around the vaccine.

The answers have been disappointing and may have hurt demand. Most children get the booster, according to the CDC. Vaccination is an important tool to protect people over the age of 65 and those with underlying health conditions.

"Especially those at high risk, it's important that they understand the value of getting vaccinations and making sure they stay up to date on their boosters."

Vaccines, good treatments, and the fact that a lot of people have been exposed to the disease help keep people out of the hospital. More than 2,500 people die of carbon dioxide in America each week.

Kelly Moore is the CEO of, a vaccine education and advocacy organization. More than 18 million hospitalizations and 3 million deaths were prevented in the U.S. because of the vaccine campaign according to an analysis by the Commonwealth Fund.

Moore says that we should still be using an effective tool that can prevent a lot of suffering.

2. Target vaccines to where they count most

One way to deal with vaccine fatigue is to target the people who are most at risk. Only a small percentage of people over the age of 65 have received a booster. Three quarters of COVID deaths in the US are in this age group.

When vaccines first came out, there was a lot of effort to get people in nursing homes to be vaccine free. She says that that doesn't work anymore because everybody is on a different schedule when it comes to when they need a booster. She says that if you go there one day you might be able to get a vaccine.

Public health is changing. The CDC is putting a number of single-dose vials in long-term care facilities that have the right storage equipment. If one resident of the facility is ready for a booster, staff at the nursing home can get a single dose out of the pharmacy-grade fridge and give it to them on the spot.

Lindsay says to think about grandma during the winter holidays. Lindsay is the vice president of public health advocacy at Northwell Health in New York, and she was the first person in the US to get a COVID-19 vaccine. She says that all of us have a responsibility. Don't go if you are sick. As a Christmas gift, grandma can take her to get vaccinations.

3. Listen more carefully to concerns

Cynthia Baur is the director of the Horowitz Center for Health Literacy at the University of Maryland.

She says that people need to believe that whatever happens is going to be bad enough for them to act. Restaurants are open, people are out and about, and vaccinations are no longer required to get back to normal life in many places.

Baur has been working with community health workers who are out in Maryland talking to people about vaccinations. Baur doesn't believe that any particular message or fact or phrase has changed hearts and minds.

She points out that most adults don't get vaccine through mass vaccinations. It may be time to put the focus back on health care providers, like doctors, who can have a relationship with patients and listen to their concerns.

She says that providers are the main source of vaccine recommendations. It's opening the door to a discussion if providers recommend vaccines.

4. Make vaccinations less scary

There are a lot of ways to fight vaccine hesitancy. Moore of is looking at how to improve the vaccine experience.

She says that a quarter of adults are afraid of needles. How many people are saying they don't want it, they don't have time or it doesn't work? How many of them are that just an excuse?

She says that the Autism Society for America has come up with innovative ways to help families and kids with the neurological condition get vaccinations. Putting on headphones, listening to your favorite music, or using a plastic "shot blocker" are some of the low cost ideas they have.

I tried a variation of this when I took my daughter to get her booster. There is more fear of needles among children than there is among adults. I cut the lidocaine patch to fit her bicep after buying it at the drugstore. I put it on her arm before we left. I drew an outline on her skin so the immunizer could give her the vaccine. Noa said the shot didn't hurt and she was happy that she didn't cry. She wanted to know if we could use it for every shot in the future.