We’re Not Being Sarcastic This Time: The Vaccine Rollout Is Going Just Great!
The vaccine rollout is going well. There, I said it. An advisory panel at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention just unanimously approved a vaccine from Johnson & Johnson, which started shipping four million doses of the easier-to-use, one-shot vaccine.
"We think literally within about the next 24 to 48 hours, Americans should start receiving shots in arms," Alex Gorsky, Johnson & Johnson's CEO and chairman of the board, told NBC's Today.
Johnson & Johnson aims to deliver 100 million doses by June and up to a billion by the end of the year. But doomsaying has abounded about the Johnson & Johnson vaccine's efficacy. The Pfizer and Moderna vaccines are both about 95 percent effective at preventing symptomatic COVID-19. Johnson & Johnson rates 65 percent at preventing moderate to severe/critical symptoms. That's also based on research in South Africa where the coronavirus variant is more prevalent. In the US, the Johnson & Johnson vaccine's effectiveness is around 72 percent.
Infectious disease experts say this is still impressive, and it actually wouldn't matter if the rates were lower.
"It's not just how effective a vaccine is. It's how many people get it," Dr. David Priest, an infectious disease specialist with Novant Health, said.
Priest said a good example of that is the annual flu shot.
"The flu vaccine every year, maybe, is 40% effective, but if every eligible person got it, we'd have almost no flu mortality," Priest said.
None of the vaccines will make you bullet proof or anything. However, no deaths or major hospitalizations have been directly linked to the vaccines themselves. They're so safe even the one-term loser and his wife secretly got their shots on their way out the door.
Now, to Dr. David Priest's point, we just need to make sure as many Americans are vaccinated as possible. We didn't actually have a plan for that until the new administration arrived.
.@VP Harris: "There was no national strategy or plan for vaccinations. … We're starting from scratch." @mikeallen:… https://t.co/Wg7Ew7jNLL— Axios (@Axios) 1613360760.0
Vice President Kamala Harris caught flak from conservatives when she said a few weeks ago that the Biden administration was left with no “national strategy or plan" for vaccine rollout.
We were leaving it to the states and local leaders to try and figure it out. And so in many ways, we're starting from scratch on something that's been raging for almost an entire year!
The one-term loser's staff cried foul and said there was plenty of strategy written on that crumpled cocktail napkin they left behind. Dr. Anthony Fauci supported Harris's claims because they were true and he was there for the hot mess parade. He told Jim Sciutto at CNN that “the actual plan of getting the vaccine doses into people's arms was really rather vague."
Dr. Anthony Fauci says that the prior administration’s vaccination plan was “rather vague” and “not well-coordinate… https://t.co/j8aTp5WY3r— CNN (@CNN) 1613495700.0
It's not surprising that the twice-impeached thug would confuse a “goal" for a “plan," just like every asshole I've worked with in corporate America. I'm sure while summoning his third or fourth Diet Coke, he waved his arm around and decreed that everyone (who voted for him) would get vaccinated and everything would go back to normal. They'd even build a turd-shaped statue in his honor. That was his idea of leadership, but anyone can have a “goal." The plan is what's important.
FAUCI: It was not a well coordinated plan. Getting the vaccines made, getting them shipped through Operation Warp Speed was okay, but I believe what the vice president is referring to is: What is process of actually getting these doses into people?
Dr. Fauci is so polite he even used the previous administration's dumbass name for the vaccine rollout, Operation Warp Speed. I love "Star Trek" like every other middle-aged man who didn't date in high school, but warp speed refers to travel. We're not visiting the Klingon home world. We're trying to get people vaccinated. Dr. Leonard McCoy or my secret wife, Dr. Beverly Crusher, rarely said “warp speed" while practicing medicine, and they often produced miracle cures in 45 minutes.
The Biden administration had to organize the actual distribution of vaccines. This involved connecting with community vaccine centers, pharmacies, and mobile units. The previous White House occupant could only effectively organize a Klan rally. The United States is currently vaccinating more people than any other country. Although momentum slowed due to inclement weather across the country a few weeks ago, the American Prospect reported that the US quickly made up ground and was averaging about 1.3 million shots per day, far exceeding the Biden administration's daily target of 1 million shots.
Right now the U.S. is shipping about 10-15 million doses per week. That should increase to 20 million per week in March, 25 million in April, and 30 million by June. If distribution ramps up similarly, you could see 4.5 million shots delivered daily by summer.
Dr. Fauci was concerned that demand might overwhelm supply, but we now have three vaccines punching COVID-19 in the face. If this rollout continues at this rate, Biden will easily keep his promise that everyone who wants a vaccine, which should be everyone, will have access to one by the end of July.
Yes, it's possible we might still have to wear masks into 2022, but I've personally enjoyed not having a cold all winter. Right now, let's just appreciate that there's a plan for vaccinating everyone so we can see our extended families again and safely invite them into our homes, even the annoying ones. Get happy! That's an order.
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Stephen Robinson is a writer and social kibbitzer based in Portland, Oregon. He writes reviews for the A.V. Club and make believe for Cafe Nordo, an immersive theatre space in Seattle. He's also on the board of the Portland Playhouse theatre. His son describes him as a “play typer guy."