⭐ Short version: There is an end in sight! But, that is largely dependent on us getting any vaccine when it’s available (don’t be picky unless your doctor advises you to be), how well we can get cases down and keep them down, and the variants. The risk of a bad variant is dependent on how high cases are. That’s why we need all-hands-on-deck to lower cases and get vaccines the first chance you get.
⭐ Long version: Do you feel like the goal posts keep shifting? Yep, me too. A combination of uncoordinated national plans, lack of people masking/distancing/etc, no vaccines, are just some of the reasons why the goal posts kept shifting in 2020. These are some of the main reasons why the pandemic kept going and going and going some more. We know that achieving herd immunity is the only way out of this pandemic. We also know that achieving that by letting infections happen naturally is not ethical and will result in thousands of additional deaths, overwhelmed hospitals, and keep this pandemic churning.
⭐ Cue vaccines walking out with some well-earned swagger like JLo at the Super Bowl…this is our way out. Let me show you.
✅ Look at the picture – at the current rate of vaccinations, we can achieve 50% protection by summer and FINALLY 70-80% by September. There really is an end, web-friends! BUT, there’s also 2 main issues that can affect this and push this goal post to 2022. I, for one, am not for that at all. Nope, nada, let’s get this done and over with as quick as possible. What are the 2 issues? ⭐ We are now in a race between vaccinations and the new variants.
✅ This is what worries me the most – the new variants. As a reminder, viruses mutate all the time. That’s just what they do. However, the MORE virus is out there in the community (that’s the 150,000 per day number compounded on the previous day’s 150,000 compounded on…), the MORE likely the virus will mutate, the MORE likely one of those mutations will be more deadly or thwart the vaccines. So far, the vaccines work against the Brazil, UK, and SA variants well. BUT, the variants are more transmissible – which means cases can rise very quickly – which means the virus has more potential to mutate to be more deadly or thwart the vaccines.
◾ SO – we are in a race. Vaccines against variants and the risk of more variants. That’s where you come in. Vaccines are about to roll out in huge numbers over these next few months. 👏👏👏
✅ I know lots of you will get it today if you could. My worry is that I also know quite a few are going to wait to “see what happens”. They want to wait a few months to see if side effects are bad (but, we already know they aren’t) or if other bad-things-happen with the vaccines (we already know this isn’t the case!). I also know some plan to refuse the J&J if the EUA is approved later this month because the efficacy is slightly lower than the Moderna and Pfizer vaccines. They want to wait for the mRNA vaccines. But, SLIGHTLY is the key word here. The J&J still works really well at reducing symptoms.
✅ I want to ask everyone to think big picture. Which one will I get? Whichever vaccine is offered to me first. I won’t even think about it. ALL top vaccines (Moderna, Pfizer, AstraZeneca, and J&J) have shown to reduce moderate and severe COVID infections. ALL of these vaccines have an extremely small chance of side effects and those side effects do not even come close to how you feel if you actually getting COVID-19.
✅ So, which one should you get? Whichever vaccine is offered. All the experts that I know and trust are warning of another surge from the variants in the next few months. I also agree we are at a pretty high risk of this happening. But, let’s outsmart it. The MORE we can do with vaccines AND the tried-and-true masking/distancing/hand-washing now to drive the numbers down as much as possible, the easier we get of this pandemic. We also lower the chance of the virus mutating into a really bad form. If we don’t, we risk the pandemic lasting even longer. The picture on this post shows it’s going to be a while before we get to herd immunity at the current rate of vaccines. I DO think the rate of vaccines per day will increase over the next month or two. BUT, we have to get cases lower to win against potential new variants.
✅ I hope looking at the big picture helps. First things first. There is a way out of this. We have a choice on how long the pandemic lasts. Mask, distance, hand-washing, and vaccines. Let’s do our part to get out of this. We all still play a crucial role and we are not out of the woods yet. But, there is an end in sight if the goal post doesn’t move. That’s up to us to keep it from moving.
***As always, consult your physician if you have specific vaccine questions related to your medical history.