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Challenges with Vaccine Distribution

With vaccines from Pfizer/BioNTech, Moderna, and Oxford-AstraZeneca currently being developed and distributed, there is hope that the world will soon return to its normal ways. People are looking forward to the days that they can gather freely with their friends and family without any anxiety. At the end of 2020, Dr. Fauci had estimated the US could approach herd immunity by the end of the summer of 2021. However, this prediction was contingent on the vaccine campaign rolling out successfully. The estimation might no longer be relevant due to the unpredicted hurdles that have arisen during distribution. Some believe the distribution goals were too ambitious in the U.S., while others think the coordination of the nation’s mass vaccination effort was lacking. Either way, it doesn’t look like the world will be returning to its pre-pandemic ways anytime soon. 

Delays in Distribution

The U.S. fell short of its original goal to have 20 million people get their vaccine by the end of 2020—less than 3 million people received their first dose by that time. Federal offices had underestimated the time it would take to distribute vaccines. Meeting such high targets would require more resources for the vaccination campaign to assist with speedier distribution, such as more staff. At present, only 200,000 doses are delivered per day, but federal officials predict that that number will go up to 1 million.

Some locations have the proper infrastructure in place, but do not have sufficient doses coming in. For example, Chicago successfully delivered 95% of their vaccines received, but at this rate, it would take over a year to vaccinate all its residents. In short, the vaccination rollout needs to improve to prevent deliveries of doses falling short and reserve supplies exhausted.

Risk of Inefficacy

To date, some variants have been detected in several countries. Some of these variants have mutations that cause them to spread more quickly. While it has still not been determined, these strains might impact the vaccine efficacy and natural immunity to the virus. In other words, it’s possible new variants may not respond as well to the existing vaccines circulating.

Additionally, experts think that these variants may reinfect people who had already had the coronavirus, even with antibodies against the virus. With new variants circulating, a more-contagious variant means more new cases could accelerate, leading to more cases and hospitalizations. It is expected that the virus could develop enough mutations that the vaccines will have to be updated, a process which can take weeks, months, or even years. 

Further, some people have experienced allergic reactions to a batch of the Moderna vaccine. While this was likely just an issue with the particular batch, it highlights that the vaccine is still new and has not been around long enough to determine all its possible side effects.  

Digital Health Passport

Although the vaccines are rolling out, the battle against the coronavirus appears to be far from over. In addition to taking necessary safety measures, such as social distancing and wearing a mask in public, another option can assist the public with being as prudent as possible. The COVID PreCheck App allows users to share their health status and to report whether they have been experiencing any symptoms or if they have been near anyone who has. The more people adopt this feature, the easier it will be to keep ourselves and others safe. 

Most of us still need to go out in public. If you’re working from home, chances are you are still going out to the store or even going for a walk. With the COVID PreCheck, your health information gets converted into a QR code so that you can show it to others as proof that you are not experiencing symptoms or that you are vaccinated. This provides you and others with reassurance until we can all get vaccinated. 

Information on the app, such as health statuses, is kept up-to-date so you can feel confident that you are being diligent and doing your best to help slow the spread of the virus. The app always contains current information with user self-assessment tests, doctors’ reports, and test results. Visit the website or download the COVID PreCheck app today.