After the devastating toll that the Coronavirus pandemic has taken on the United States, healthcare workers are rolling up their sleeves for the COVID-19 vaccine. Furthermore, they have renewed hope for an all-out vaccination effort in the US, to finally end the COVID-19 pandemic. But, it’s not going to be easy and it will take time. Here’s how the efforts are going.
The first lucky Americans to get the vaccine
Cheers and countdowns precede the first healthcare workers who are getting the vaccine shots. In Long Island Jewish Medical Center in New York, critical care nurse Sandra Lindsay became one of the first to be vaccinated. She felt “relieved” and felt like “healing is coming” for everyone. Moreover, workers at Ohio State University’s Wexner Medical Center were counting down before the initial shots were given. In Colorado, Governor Jared Polis himself opened the delivery door of the FedEx truck delivering 975 of the frozen Pfizer vaccine.
This will be the largest vaccination effort in the history of the U.S. And it will help conquer the COVID-19 pandemic which has killed more than 300,000 people in the country. And healthcare workers have been the true warriors throughout this pandemic. For instance, Dr. Valerie Briones-Pryor at the University of Louisville Hospital, who has worked in the COVID-19 unit since March, told AP:
I want to get back to seeing my family. I want families to be able to get back to seeing their loved ones.
Vaccines are being sent to 145 sites around the country. And more locations will receive the vaccine, with more deliveries expected in the next few days. Nursing home residents and old age citizens will get priority over others. But, with the first anniversary of COVID-19 approaching, America and the world has suffered a lot of damage.
How COVID-19 devastated the US
The government began circulating the vaccine on the same day that the death toll from the virus crossed 300,000. That’s equal to the population of St. Louis or Pittsburgh. It’s almost 100 times the number of people that died in the 9/11 terror attacks and 5 times the number of American soldiers that died in the Vietnam War. Jennifer Nuzzo, a health researcher from John Hopkins said:
To think, now we can just absorb in our country 3,000 deaths a day as though it were just business as usual. It just represents a moral failing.
Now, the entire country is watching the vaccination campaign. That includes especially communities of color, both Black and Hispanic, depicting the history of racial healthcare disparities in the U.S. More of the Pfizer vaccine will keep on coming every week. And later on, the FDA will look into the Moderna vaccine as well, deciding on giving it the green light.
Despite the vaccine, the threat of COVID-19 is still not over
By the end of this month, 20 million Americans are expected to get vaccinated, and 30 million more by January. However, even by spring, there won’t be enough vaccines to help everyone get a shot. Therefore, currently, the priority is to get the vaccine to the most vulnerable population in the country. Moreover, the virus is still causing rampage across the U.S. Chief pharmacy officer at Mount Sinai Health System in New York City, Sue Mashni, said:
We’re also in the middle of a surge, and it’s the holidays, and our health care workers have been working at an extraordinary pace.
Moreover, those who get vaccinated go through mild symptoms as well. These include temporary fever, fatigue, and aches as their body’s immune system is amped up. Moreover, the fake news and conspiracy theories have resulted in only 50% of the American population wanting to get vaccinated. And a quarter of the country doesn’t want the vaccine in their body, according to recent polls. ICU Nurse at Kaiser Permanente Los Angeles Medical Center, Helen Cordova said:
I know it’s going to be a big hurdle to convince people because it’s new, it’s uncertain. This can be encouraging for others.
Furthermore, the vaccine will prevent any kind of COVID-19 illness. However, it is unknown how it will affect the symptomless spread of COVID-19. Therefore, the battle against the Coronavirus is still far from over.