Vaccines for the Coronavirus have been released and are said to be safe. On November 9th, 2020, the pharmaceutical company Pfizer announced that their vaccine for COVID-19 has gone through all the stages and is ready for use. The FDA has approved its usage, and has started giving out doses. And shortly after that, Moderna released its vaccine, too — and several others may be approved soon. There is worry that receiving the vaccine will go slowly, because the government has reserved such a small number of doses. But the availability of vaccines will help to be able to stop infection rates substantially, saving many lives and stopping the crisis that much sooner.
Unfortunately, in my opinion, the United States did not fully prepare for the distribution under former-President Donald Trump, so now they’ve got to scramble to catch up.
When companies started developing vaccines last year, the U.S. government did something called “Operation Warp Speed”. This provided money and support to these companies to help them work faster., One of the companies, Pfizer, said they would not participate in Operation Warp Speed, and would only make the government pay once they were certain it was safe and effective. However, even with this “Win All or Lose Nothing” deal, the Trump Administration only reserved 100 millions doses in advance, enough for only 50 million Americans.
This is not the only time the Administration has failed to plan. They have been claiming for some time now that they have vaccine reserves, to be distributed at a later date. But on January 15th, it was discovered that they did not have any of the alleged doses. “They’re not handling it.” Kevin Dezfulian, a follower of the events throughout this past year, says. “They spent the last 9 months not preparing to distribute the vaccine.” Dr. Lidija Sekaric, Phd., former employee of the Department of Energy, agrees. “If one was trying to do nothing, it’d probably be on par with what they’ve done.”
Fortunately, Joe Biden has recently been inaugurated and sworn in as President. His plan is competent and some would say very obvious. He has said he will use the national guard to help distribute the vaccine doses, along with making free testing more accessible. However, this is still a very big problem that has become even bigger because of Trump’s neglect. As Dr. Sekaric said, “It’s not going to happen over night.”
With the government struggling with distribution, there is still the problem of gaining the public’s trust. In May, 2020, 27% of the American population said they wouldn’t get the vaccine. With COVID-related deaths rising, many would assume the percentage would decrease. But the attitudes towards the coronavirus have been reckless. In November, 2020, the number went up to 39%, a 12% surge. Dr. Cameron Dezfulian, MD, shared his opinion on the anti-vaxxers; “In the end, they put themselves at risk, not everybody else.” This may not be true, since many scientists say we will need between 70% and 80% of Americans vaccinated to achieve “herd immunity”.
In the end, what the people do is what will make a difference. Let us hope that availability and better knowledge of the COVID vaccine will help change the minds of many people, and in turn, save America (and the world) from this horrible pandemic.