200 Million Served
Axios (“200 million COVID-19 vaccine doses“):
The U.S. has administered more than 202 million coronavirus vaccine doses since the start of its inoculation campaign, with nearly 4 million vaccinations reported on Friday alone, according to the latest data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Why it matters: The numbers indicate Biden is on track to fulfill his promise of 200 vaccinations within his first 100 days in office. The president set a new goal late last month after it became clear the U.S. was outpacing his initial goal of 100 million doses.
By the numbers: 49.1% of U.S. adults have now received at least one dose. 64.6% of people in the country ages 65 and older are fully vaccinated. 38.5% of the total U.S. population has been vaccinated with at least one dose.
The big picture: Health officials continue to warn Americans to remain vigilant as dangerous coronavirus variants spread.
As good as the headline news is, the future doesn’t look so great:
There are also growing signs that parts of the country may be close to meeting demand for the coronavirus vaccine — well before the U.S. has reached herd immunity.
The politicization of the virus—dismissing it as “just the flu,” refusing to wear a mask and comply with other rules, and now vaccine hesitancy—is making fighting it extremely difficult. Hell, some one-third of United States Marines are refusing to get the shot.
I’ve been “fully vaccinated” (both Moderna shots plus 2 weeks) since Wednesday. My wife got her first Moderna dose two weeks ago yesterday and my oldest stepdaughter (20) got hers just yesterday. I suspect the other two over-16s in the family will get a dose in the next week or two. We’re doing our part!
Kevin Drum is among those advocating for making vaccination mandatory. He cites a NYT op-ed by Ezekiel J. Emanuel, Aaron Glickman and Amaya Diana urging:
Vaccines should be required for health care workers and for all students who plan to attend in-person classes this fall — including younger children once the vaccine is authorized for them by the Food and Drug Administration.
Employers should also be prepared to make vaccines mandatory for prison guards, E.M.T.s, police officers, firefighters and teachers if overall vaccinations do not reach the level required for herd immunity. Short of a mandate, these workers should be reminded that these vaccines have proved safe and are important not only for their health, but for the health of those they deal with in their jobs.
None of us likes being told what to do. But getting vaccinated is not just about our personal health, but the health of our communities and country.
Health care workers are professionals whose primary obligation is to their patients’ health and well-being. Except in extreme cases, their personal preferences are secondary.
When they decline to be vaccinated, they put their own preferences above the health and safety of their patients. No patient should worry whether her doctor, nurse or blood draw technician is vaccinated. Health care facilities should require all their workers to be vaccinated for the coronavirus, just as many do for the flu.
While I agree with that, some legal commentators have advanced the argument that the FDA emergency approval for the vaccines makes punishment for refusal unlawful. Whether that’s true hasn’t been tested but the fact that these drugs haven’t gone through the full vetting process is certainly part of the hesitancy problem. Indeed, it’s why US military personnel are not being required to get vaccinated.
Given that we’ve been administering the vaccine under emergency authorization for four months—and 200 million doses—you’d think the FDA could give full approval. That’s particularly true of the two mNRA variants (Moderna and Pfizer) which leave the system quickly. That would certainly allow mandating vaccination for front-line workers, teachers and students, and the like. Not to mention Marines.