Americans approached the coveted Christmas with mixed feelings. And this is not surprising, because in the past year they got it in full. 2020 started quite well: the economy was booming, the number of unemployed fell, border officials and customs officers at international airports were on duty asking arrivals if they had arrived from China. In short, nothing foreshadowed trouble.
Today, walking in the middle of a typical American city in the evening, you most likely will not see the usual picture – no bright illumination, no advertising, no children frolicking around a sparkling New Year tree. Preparations for the long-awaited Christmas were also “oiled” by a powerful cyclone that hit the country’s eastern coast a week ago. But the main thing is that the pandemic is in full swing. Just think: the number of coronavirus victims has already exceeded the United States’ total losses during the Second World War!
The Americans have a very pessimistic, but quite realistic adage: before the situation improves, it worsens. So Moncef Sloughi, the White House chief scientific adviser who specializes in vaccine development, told CNN: “Unfortunately, things are going to get worse. It is difficult to guess what the numbers will be (of the victims of the pandemic – AR). Alas, there is reason to believe that they will be higher than today. “
However, we live in the 21st century and therefore have the right to count on modern scientific achievements. And if at first scientists, faced with an unknown misfortune, were confused, then in November-December, at the end of a long and dark tunnel, a light dawned. And this is not a flash of a torch in the hands of a savage, but a completely effective remedy for coronavirus in the form of a vaccine. And not one, but at least two – Pfizer / BioNTech and Moderna.
Both drugs were registered and approved in the shortest possible time. The first must be stored and transported in powerful refrigeration units, and the second does not require such delicate handling, which is critical for mass vaccination. The main Moderna vaccine distribution center in Mississippi is already fully operational. From there, boxes of ampoules are transported to the states, primarily to those most affected by the pandemic. In general, as of the end of December, about 10 million doses of both vaccines were sent to different country regions. This is still a drop in the ocean, but, as they say, the trouble is the beginning.
Of course, it’s too early to relax. After all, the Christmas holidays had just passed, which means that many citizens actively moved around the country, attended solemn services in churches and gathered in large companies at the table. Tradition is stronger than common sense! Anticipating this, Assistant Secretary of Health and Human Services Brett Girouar urged Americans to continue to take precautions. “The lives of tens of thousands of Americans depend on what we do,” he said in an interview with ABC News. – Wear a mask in public, maintain social distance, wash your hands. Try to limit the meal to the family. And if this is not possible, then wear a mask indoors and ventilate it often. ” These were the general recommendations of the doctors in anticipation of the meeting with Santa Claus, who,
The newly elected US administration is setting an example for citizens, testing the effects of the vaccine on itself to calm the voices of sceptics immediately. Joseph Biden and his wife Jill and future vice president Kamala Harris and her husband Doug Emhoff were recently vaccinated. Even sane Republicans in the White House decided this time not to flaunt contempt for danger in the manner of their leader Donald Trump. Acting Vice President Michael Pence and his wife Karen and numerous congressmen and Republican senators, also “pricked”.
As for the president himself, it seems to him that the manufacturers of vaccines deliberately delayed their development and production to stick a spoke in the wheels of the republican administration. In his usual manner, Trump once again tweeted that he did not plan to get vaccinated, but “looks forward to the opportunity to do it at the right time.” According to Trump’s calculations, it is very difficult to understand such a time will come. However, the White House’s current owner does not need to rush, since he recently had a coronavirus and, therefore, antibodies have already developed in his body. Strikingly, even this shows the desire to resist the Democrats: if Biden & Co. are the pioneers of vaccination, Trump must do the opposite. And it does not matter,
However, let’s leave aside the vicissitudes of the political struggle on Olympus and focus, so to speak, on the greatness of the moment for ordinary Americans. Recently B. Girouard confidently stated that by June 2021 “any American who wants to get vaccinated will be able to do it.” However, some authoritative experts, such as the former vice-admiral of the public health corps, co-chairman of the government commission on COVID-19, created at Biden’s initiative, Vivek Murthy, are more cautious in their assessments and postpone this historic moment to mid-summer or even early autumn.
The complexity and scale of the logistics required for mass vaccination are truly difficult to overestimate. In addition, as you know, both vaccines currently approved for use in the United States must be administered twice (with an interval of three weeks), which implies the need for exceptional coordination between pharmaceutical companies, medical centers, storage facilities and shipping companies.
But these are all technical problems. At the scientific level, other questions are being resolved: which vaccines are suitable for certain age groups of the population (experts are inclined to think that a universal approach is unacceptable), who should be vaccinated in the first place, what is the degree of risk in pregnancy and the presence of chronic diseases.
In a word, the process of large-scale vaccination is multifaceted and complex, but it is unacceptable to fail the mission since this is a matter of extreme importance.
Meanwhile, the situation is gradually clearing up. For example, priority groups for vaccination have already been identified. These are medical workers, emergency workers, and those who communicate with large numbers of people daily. The priority group also includes persons who have reached the age of 75, primarily those who live in nursing homes and centers for the elderly. In total, we are talking about 51 million people.
A wave of questions from citizens fell on the doctors: where to get vaccinated, is it painful to get an injection, is it possible to get infected after vaccination, whether it is necessary to take precautions after introducing the vaccine, are there any side effects.
The medical examiners’ responses can be summarized as follows. In a few months, everyone will be able to get vaccinated at network pharmacies or medical centers. The sensation of the injection is the same as from an injection in the forearm. After vaccination, you should continue to avoid crowded places and take precautions until at least fall 2021. Side effects are possible, but they are mild and, as a rule, disappear during the day.
In fact, the list of questions
and answers is much longer. However, the fact that the conversation from
the panicky “what to do?” moved to the practical plane, of
course, pleases. It testifies that the main question has been resolved:
scientists quickly found an answer to the formidable challenge to
humanity. It is no coincidence that American houses’ facades, as before,
are decorated with multi-colored New Year’s garlands: life goes on.