• Sarine Kaprielian

The Vaccine Rundown

As of December 11th, 2020, the FDA has approved Pfizer's vaccine for emergency use in the

United States. Since it is for emergency use, it can only be used for people 16 and older. An

official quote from the FDA states: “The FDA has determined that Pfizer-BioNTech

COVID-19 Vaccine has met the statutory criteria for issuance of an EUA. The totality of the available data provides clear evidence that Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine may be effective in preventing COVID-19. The data also support that the known and potential benefits outweigh the known and potential risks, supporting the vaccine’s use in millions of people 16 years of age and older, including healthy individuals”2. Just before the FDA approved the vaccine, CNN reported that some black and Latino communities are still hesitant about the vaccine. According to a study, the NAACP and UnidosUS found that “only 14% of Black Americans trust that a vaccine will be safe and 18% trust it will be effective. As for Latinos, they were more optimistic with 34% saying they trust the vaccine will be safe and 40% believing it will be effective”3. A lot of this hesitancy comes from the fact that these communities have been hit the hardest with COVID-19 cases and some people explaining that they do not know where the vaccine is coming from and that it is too rushed. The concern also comes from a history of racism in the health care system with some black COVID patients avoiding seeing a doctor due to how they have been treated in the past.

As talks of a vaccine were taking place, many people expressed concerns. Speculation and fear grew as the American public decided whether or not the vaccine was safe to use. There are different waves of people saying they are not going to take it, but now, as time has passed more people seem willing to get it. “Since August, when 60 percent of people surveyed in a PBS NewsHour/NPR/Marist poll were willing. On Sept. 18, just 49 percent of Americans said they would get vaccinated against COVID-19, while another 44 percent said they would not”. There was a decline in the amount of people that had faith in this vaccine and its effectiveness, as well as concerns if it could cause side effects.

The one thing that the public can agree on is that everyone wants to be healthy and immune to this horrible disease. It can be scary to take a vaccine, especially one this rushed, so hesitancy is not an uncalled-for reaction. As more people start to get vaccinated, the people that were concerned might be able to ease their stress and get vaccinated themselves.

Where We Stand Today

Two months have now gone by and approximately 6.5% of the U.S population has been

vaccinated. After a slow start in December the speed of vaccination distribution has improved. However, it will take quite some time and millions of more doses to be administered to achieve herd immunity. You may ask, what percentage of people need to be vaccinated to achieve said herd immunity? Well, experts just aren’t sure yet. One thing we can say for certain is distribution is the top priority of the incoming Biden administration.

President Biden has promised the American public 100 million vaccines in the first 100 days of his term. To achieve that goal an average of 1,000,000 vaccines need to be given each day. In recent news, President Biden has grown increasingly bold. He’s signaled that the nation could soon be injecting up to 1.5 million shots per day. This prediction may seem bold to his critics, but if improvements in distribution continue to rise President’s Biden promises will become a reality.

The Covid-19 madness will still take plenty of time to be resolved, but the end continues to grow near. How soon the end will come is still dependent on two fragile factors, the American people’s willingness to get vaccinated and the stability of our government. Thankfully, early successes have helped ease vaccine fears, but what will come of a divided and partisan government has yet to be determined.

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