As cases of Covid-19 continued to rise, along with the death count, Americans found a beacon of hope at the end of last year. Almost an entire month ago, the FDA gave emergency approval to a Covid-19 vaccine from BioNTech and Pfizer. The rollout began almost immediately, following “Operation Warp Speed,” which planned to have millions vaccinated by the end of the new year.
Only 5 million Americans have received the vaccination, which is only 1.5% of the U.S. population, according to Axios. U.S. News reports that the original goal was to have up to 20 million Americans vaccinated by now, showing signs of being much farther behind than first anticipated. This low number also means only 30% of the over 17 million vaccinations already distributed have been administered. These numbers look grim as the U.S. tops over 4,000 deaths in a day.
There are a variety of reasons for the slow vaccine rollout. Due to the newfound demand for the vaccine, and the dire need for healthcare workers to receive it, appointments have to be made before receiving the vaccine. This raises the level of difficulty to receive the vaccine compared to a flu vaccine.
It is also important to note the misinformation circulating about the vaccine. Rumors, mainly originating from social media, range from having too little testing before approval to the possibility of being microchipped. This is directly causing several Americans to shy away from taking the vaccine.
There may eventually have to be some form of identification, indicating whether someone has taken the vaccine. This seems necessary to encourage people to take the vaccine to dine at bars and restaurants and attend concerts and sporting events.
Ultimately, American citizens need to begin researching themselves, so vaccine rollouts can occur quicker when access reaches the general public. The hope that Americans found when they originally heard of the vaccine’s approval will fade if the pace of vaccinating citizens continues at this rate.
The feeding of misinformation about the vaccine is only delaying the time our society will achieve a sense of normalcy again.