Sunday my wife received her first dose of the Pfizer vaccine. Hence VG (Vaccinate Grammy) Day 1.0. (It’s currently a two dose vaccine.) My degree is in management not medicine or a bench research science. However I have the ability to comprehend information and simultaneously do critical thinking. Today I’d like to share some of my thoughts on the pandemic and the vaccine.
There are a plethora of problems with our vaccination program. The Biden administration inherited most of them from the incompetent and corrupt administration that preceded it. (I’ll bet that we will learn of more scandals associated with the pandemic in the coming months.) Currently we are in that constrained optimization situation of doing the best we can with what we have to work with until we can improve the situation.
Two other constraints are largely outside of the government’s direct control: the development of the vaccines and their availability. At this writing we only have two vaccines available in America: Pfizer and Moderna. Johnson and Johnson appears to have one– complete with advantages and disadvantages – just over the horizon and several others may join it in the not that distant future. While manufacturing capacity is finite it will differ by manufacturer.
The distribution system is another challenge – again finite capacity. Part of the previous administration’s non-plan was to delegate distribution 100% to the states without adequate communication let alone sufficient assistance. Here is the bottom line: until the vaccine gets in a sufficient number of arms the program is incomplete and largely ineffective. (I’m being kind in my choice of words and mindful of my PG rating).
There is an anti-vaxxer movement in America and has been for decades. It was just reported that the pharmacist who deliberately destroyed 500 doses of the vaccine believes the world is flat. Need I say more?
Another hesitance in this case comes from Black people. This is much more reasonable on the surface anyway. To date the pandemic has hit Americans of color harder than Caucasian Americans. (We can study and debate the reason(s) for hours but that is for another day.) America has an ugly history of exploiting and deceiving Blacks when it comes to medical “care”. Considering those facts apprehension in the Black community is to be expected. My suggestion at overcoming it is a PSA program, including at the community level, featuring peer group leaders. Most Baby Boomers aren’t even old enough to remember this but there was significant resistance to the polio vaccine when it first came out. It was overcome in large part when Elvis Presley received his vaccine on live TV.
The reality is that this is a global challenge. The virus knows and respects no borders. In order to contain it we have to vaccinate as many people as possible worldwide as soon as possible. This is the ultimate all hands on deck situation. There are challenges and legitimate debate as to who gets priority status but if we fail to vaccinate a sufficient portion of the global population before the velocity of virus mutation overtakes vaccine research we are in huge trouble and hundreds of millions will die. This is one situation where “America First” is a suicide/murder policy.
In the interim please get vaccinated as soon as possible. In the process respect your fellow man especially the medical professionals on the front line. Also even if vaccinated don’t let down your guard. Keep wearing a mask, social distancing and frequently washing your hands.
My wife is about a year younger than me but I have the better immune system; therefore I am in better shape to fight it if I contract COVID 19. The six most important people in either of our lives are our grandchildren. In my book my wife is number seven. (I’m sure I rank high but perhaps a few slots farther down in my wife’s mind.) This was not the end but the beginning of raising the odds sharply in her favor if she should be unfortunate enough to contract the virus. Because of that I won too!
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