Over 1 Million People Vaccinated: COVID-19 Pandemic

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AFP

(FILES) This file photo taken on September 24, 2020 shows a staff member working during a media tour of a new factory built to produce a COVID-19 coronavirus vaccine at Sinovac, one of 11 Chinese companies approved to carry out clinical trials of potential coronavirus vaccines, in Beijing. – With the rollout of coronavirus vaccines beginning across the world, China has positioned itself as a key player, promising poorer nations priority access to its jabs. (Photo by WANG Zhao / AFP) / TO GO WITH China-vaccines-virus-health-diplomacy-politics,FOCUS by Helen ROXBURGH and Poornima WEERASEKARA

Esha Brar

         Although this coronavirus pandemic has had some tragic numbers, there has been a recent emergence of a very encouraging statistic-that over 1 million people have received their first shot of the Covid-19 vaccine. Researchers are speculating that this recorded number is actually low, due to the fact that many doses still have to be tabulated in the figures from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. So far, the doses are only being administered to healthcare providers treating Covid-19 patients, as well as the most vulnerable: elder individuals living in nursing homes and assisted living facilities. The government is planning on distributing 20 million first doses of the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines, and as of now, approximately 9.5 million doses have been distributed. General Gustave Perna, chief operating officer of Operation Warp Speed told receptors that about 15.5 million doses of the vaccine have been allocated and another 4.5-5 million will be allotted next week. Perna also explained that they hope to get the deliveries done by January. In the meantime, Perna states most Americans, who won’t receive the vaccine until next year should continue to follow social distancing measures, and continue to wear masks. 

            Perna also explains how he believes that the nursing home vaccinations will be expected to rise significantly. Due to efforts among the US Department of Health and Human Services, as well as two major drugstore chains, Covid-19 vaccines have been able to reach 238 long-term care facilities in 12 states. The major drugstore contributors for operation vaccines are Walgreens and CVS, who Perna states are making a huge effort to help deliver the vaccine to those who need it. 13 more statements and another 1,000 facilities with residents requiring long-term care will receive vaccine doses next week. With the vulnerable becoming immunized, there should be a decrease in the overall mortality rate of the country. The chief scientific adviser for Operation Warp Speed emphasized the importance of maximizing the number of people in long-term care facilities who are vaccinated. 

           With deaths rising and hospitalizations spiking, it is crucial that the vaccine be administered as quickly across the country as possible, especially to those most vulnerable. At the end of December, hospitalizations were at an all-time high at 119,463. Doctors are stated that many deaths happening was likely fueled first by Thanksgiving travel and gathering and that the cases will also rise significantly after Christmas and New Years’. Officials are also predicting that 84 million people are going to be traveling over the holidays, even with this year’s travel being 30% less than last year. Officials believe that the outcome will likely be exemplified by the end of January into mid-February. 

          Along with concerns of travel, across the world, a mutated strain of the novel coronavirus has also started to raise concerns, more specifically, whether it can be transmitted and whether the vaccine will be able to protect individuals against the vaccine. It is not a surprise that there is a new strain against the virus, mostly because the virus is an RNA virus, and RNA viruses tend to change their instruction books slowly over time, resulting in new variants of the virus emerging. Pfizer and Moderna, the makers of the two vaccines say that they are testing to see if their vaccines will work against the new strain. Johnson and Johnson are also coming up with a vaccine that will potentially be effective with only one dosage. This brings a great deal of hope, but it is still evident that we have a lot of work left to do.