The US government is optimistic about vaccines. By the end of May, it should be enough to vaccinate every adult in the country, President Joe Biden said Tuesday.
Not only that, but Americans also feel pretty good about the vaccine. About 69 percent of Americans have already received the vaccine or were willing to get one when they could, according to a new survey by Pew Research Center.
This is a great relief for public health experts. Last year, they looked at the numbers after vaccinations drops dramatically for only four months. In September 2020, only half of respondents said they would be willing to take a hypothetical vaccine. Not exactly surprising, since the Trump administration was at the time promised to have vaccines in October, and people were worried that the approval process would be influenced by politics. Now that the vaccines are here – and real and effective – more people want to be vaccinated.
The next big challenge is to get that adequate vaccine supply in those willing arms. And just because the government predicts it will have enough stock by May 31 does not mean that every adult in America will be vaccinated in the next 86 days.
“The vaccine race is not a laboratory race now. This is a race to the patient, ‘said Robin Townley, head of AP Moller-Maersk, special project logistics, interview with Science News from december. “This is the largest product launch in the history of mankind.”
The figurative ‘last mile’ that separates a patient from his lap will be the most involved part of this whole process. Larger amounts of vaccines from a factory to a distribution center are relatively simple, even with some vaccines having to stay very cold.
But then they have to go from big centers to pharmacies, nursing homes, mass vaccination sites and any other place that gets vaccines. This means that there are enough delivery vehicles on the road and enough freezer and fridge space has been cleared. This means backup generators and detailed communication plans for the inevitable moment when something goes wrong. This means you need to find better ways to make vaccine appointments so that people have access to the vaccine supply. Above all, it will need a trained, fast workforce that can transport, store and safely administer the vaccine.
Poor planning and delays contributed to a slow down US launch earlier this year, when local officials were mostly left to figure out distribution for themselves. As mass vaccination sites open and stocks increase, some of the delays begin to disappear. Back in December, USA vaccinated only 2.8 million people, in addition to its 20 million people target. Now more than 82 million people have been vaccinated, with about 2 million shots every day. According to NPR.
Over the next few months, the things you need to keep an eye on will be not only the number of vaccines available, but also the number of vaccines administered. It’s still going to be a big challenge, but there’s an end in sight. It can still be difficult to make travel plans and summer may be in the air – but as vaccinations go well, and as we can limit the distribution of highly transferable variants (large ash), this fall may look much more like normal.
Here’s what happened this week.
Long COVID patients say they feel better after being vaccinated
Some patients who suffer from COVID symptoms for months begin to report to their doctors that they feel better after being vaccinated. Researchers want to gather more data to understand why. (Nicole Wetsman / The edge)
The variant names for the coronavirus are almost inexpressible rows of numbers and letters. Here’s why. (Apoorva Mandivalli and Benjamin Mueller / The New York Times)
How Johnson & Johnson’s COVID-19 vaccine can reduce stock gaps
Johnson & Johnson’s vaccine can be stored at refrigerated temperatures and requires only one dose. This makes it an attractive option for people who want to increase the vaccine in the US and around the world. These vaccinations also appear to be popular at vaccination sites across the country. (Nicole Wetsman / The edge)
Earlier this week, pharmaceutical company Merck agreed to manufacture their rival’s vaccine in an effort to increase inventory later this year. (Berkeley Lovelace Jr / CNBC)
‘You think Rip Van Winkle had a hard time … I wake up and there’s a pandemic. There is fear in people’s eyes. ”
Lawrence Garbuz, the first patient in New York State to become seriously ill with COVID-19 as a result of his awakening from a coma, as quoted in The Wall Street Journal.
‘I started taking pictures because I needed them. I photographed the experience of parenting in the pandemic, and then I started doing these portraits. I did not think where they would go, but I really had to say something about what happened. ‘
Photographer Alice Proujansky on her project “Born in a Pandemic”. See her work The edge.
More than numbers
For the more than 115,913,859 people worldwide who tested positive, your recovery path can be smooth.
To the families and friends of the 2,576,079 people who died worldwide – 522,221 of those in the US – your loved ones will not be forgotten.
Stay safe everyone.