The COVID pandemic is now wreaking havoc on countries like India, where the infection spread and ensuing illness and death are out of control.
Here in the US, we appear to be moving in the other direction. Infection and hospitalization rates are dropping–due to mask wearing, social distancing, and most importantly, vaccination.
Nearly 40% of American adults have received at least one vaccination and 25% are fully vaccinated. Yet we are still averaging over 60,000 new infections and 700+ deaths per day–which translates to close to another 150,000 deaths within a year.
That means we’re not out of the woods. Some people look at these numbers and feel they don’t need to follow through with their second shot. It’s estimated that 5 million people have missed their second vaccination. Some of those may have had valid reasons and will likely reschedule. But the fact that so many people are shrugging off the second half of the vaccination is disturbing.
While the first shot provides some immunity, long-lasting protection is only proven with both shots. If we combine those who aren’t following up with the part of the population that refused to be vaccinated at all, we risk not getting to herd immunity (and a real normality) any time soon.
We’ve all known people who felt so much better after taking a medication that they stopped taking it–winding up with a worse situation than when they started. In business, we see organizations that take the first step to launch a new initiative or improve customer service or fix a supply glitch…but never follow through to the finish. As a result, the initial effort is wasted and the result is often more customer frustration, not less.
Getting halfway there doesn’t solve the problem. We need to step forward with both feet. Or, in the case of COVID, with both arms.
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