The rollout of the COVID-19 vaccine has been slow and complicated, dimming the hopes we had with the start of the new year.
Despite the COVID-19 vaccine’s availability and high degree of success, protecting people against the virus with 95% of efficiency, the shot is incredibly difficult to get. Even when people meet the prerequisites for eligibility, seniors are being asked to sign up for complicated online portals, not to mention the strict parameters dictated by states that end up disqualifying a large percentage of the population.
The distribution process has been slow, falling rapidly behind initial rollout predictions. Still, in recent weeks the process has picked up speed, with 10 times more people getting vaccinated than during the first days of vaccine distribution.
With additional vaccines in development, including one by Johnson & Johnson that works with only one inoculation, as the months progress and as health care workers get used to this new process, the vaccination distribution will grow more intuitive and effective. Still, we’re in for some months of wait time.
CNN predicts if only the Moderna and Pfizer vaccines are in circulation and if the vaccination rate is the one that has been showing up over the past seven days, then every adult in the US should be vaccinated by summer 2022. If this process speeds up according to Biden’s plan, which plans to increase budget for hospitals and governments in order to speed the process up, the timeline shrinks a bit, with projections suggesting that every adult should be inoculated in the US by spring 2022.
This sounds like a lot of discouraging news, especially for those of us who are uninvolved in the health care industry and don’t know how this process works. Still, it’s not all bad, especially since every adult in the U.S. doesn’t need to be vaccinated in order for things to get better and for people to be able to do more social activities. Herd immunity is expected to happen when 70% to 80% of the U.S.population is vaccinated, which could happen by the end of 2021 and beginning of 2022.
Aside from that, there’s also the fact that every person who’s been inoculated is at much less risk of contracting the disease, with a very low risk of spreading the virus. These people — grandparents, seniors, front line workers and people with underlying condition — should be able to see their families again, still taking care of themselves but enjoying many of the things that the majority of the world has been deprived of for the past year.
The vaccination numbers aren’t great, even when sped up. But if things continue to progress and evolve, it should be easier for people to get vaccines and for distancing measures to relax, at least in a small degree.