Even With Vaccine, The Pandemic Will Go Well Into The Spring
The White House coronavirus task force says that it'll take more than 100 million vaccinated Americans to slow the spread of coronavirus. It could take well into the spring to vaccinate that many people.
According to a recent Gallop Poll, only 63% of Americans are willing to get vaccinated against COVID-19. That 63% is up from a 50% low point in September, but that number is still surprisingly low.
According to a report from KCEN, drug maker Pfizer expects to get the approval from the Food and Drug Administration as early as this week for its coronavirus vaccine.
BioNTech and Moderna also have vaccines that are reporting better than 90% effectiveness in Phase 3 clinical trials. So while the U.S. is just days away from approving the vaccines, the White House says it will take time to slow the pandemic.
According to the task force's report to governors, “The current vaccine implementation will not substantially reduce viral spread, hospitalizations, or fatalities until the 100 million Americans with comorbidities can be fully immunized, which will take until the late spring.”
Pfizer expects to have 100 million doses, enough for 50 million Americans, ready in the next couple of months.
So who gets the vaccine first? According to a report in the New York Times, the C.D.C. says health care workers, residents at nursing homes, and long term care facilities should receive the vaccine first. That would still need to be approved by C.D.C. director, Dr. Robert R. Redfield. Keeping in mind that states don't have to follow the C.D.C. recommendations.
Following the recommendation of health care workers and nursing home residents, the C.D.C. recommends essential workers be next in line for the vaccine. That would include those who work in food and agriculture, manufacturing, law enforcement, education, transportation, corrections, and emergency response, among others.
Point is, this could take some time to get the vaccine to anyone who wants it. Until then, it's best to continue following all safety protocols including wearing a mask while in public places, six feet separation from others, and limiting all gathering to a minimal number.