Recently it was announced that multiple COVID-19 vaccines are in the final stages of FDA approval. Two vaccines have achieved 90%+ efficacy and have been deemed as safe for usage. Another has achieved 70% efficacy. These positive achievements mean that they will soon be available for distribution.
While this is certainly positive news, we are far from the end of the pandemic. The distribution process for the vaccine is a lengthy one. The supply chain and fulfillment process for the vaccine is intricate and has multiple hurdles. Certain vaccines need continual freezing, which poses challenges for shipment and storage.
Moreover, a hierarchy will be established for the vaccine. High risk individuals and first responders will be prioritized for initial treatment.
The process for the dissemination and giving of the vaccine will take months. Plus we need to factor in that vaccinated individuals can still carry and transmit COVID-19. We also must consider that all proposed vaccines are administered in two doses, which creates a lag on true effectiveness. These factors mean that mask wearing, social distancing and other Coronavirus safety protocols will have to continue for all of 2021.
Another hurdle in truly conquering COVID-19 is the fact that a significant population plan on refusing treatment of the vaccine. Certain Influencers and Political Figures have sowed distrust in medical science, leading to individuals preparing to avoid vaccination. This unfortunately will lead to a large number of people continuing to be vulnerable to infection.
While we have a large amount of positive news for 2021, the truth is the pandemic will unfortunately continue deep into the new year. It is on all of us to continue to take all necessary safety steps to keep ourselves and others safe. Continue to wear a mask and practice social distancing. If you are feeling ill then stay home. Get tested for COVID-19 whenever appropriate. Temperature screening and hand washing/sanitizing must continue as well. A vaccine creation is fantastic, there is still lots of time before COVID-19 is a distant memory.