Good news! The first set of vaccines to prevent COVID-19 is here and ready for initial distribution. People in the UK have already received initial doses, and US authorization is expected momentarily.
The world is ready to breathe a sign of relief. As the population is vaccinated, we can start to move back to some sense of normalcy. Schools and businesses may be able to reopen, and family gatherings may be back in vogue once again. This may lead to lower unemployment and a sustained economic recovery.
But we can’t jump for joy yet.
- It will take time to distribute the vaccines, one of which requires storage under extremely cold temperatures.
- Each vaccine requires two doses, which increases the complexity of completing the process.
- There are likely “flu-like” side effects which, while confirming the vaccine is working, may also reduce the number of people who follow through with their vaccinations.
- There isn’t enough vaccine to treat the general population and won’t be for months and months.
- At least some part of the population will resist getting a vaccine and therefore continue to spread the virus.
- One vaccine appears to be causing severe reactions in people with known allergic conditions. This can be managed at the medical level, but may cause people to question whether they want to be vaccinated.
- Until sometime toward the end of next year, the virus mitigation protocols (masks, social distancing, etc.) will still be needed.
So while things are looking up, we’re not home free yet. We can celebrate the great progress made in an incredibly short timeframe, but we need to remain vigilant to stay safe.
And get ready to rollup those sleeves when your turn comes to be vaccinated.
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