Lucky. I am one of the lucky ones.
I have been fully vaccinated against Covid-19. By sheer luck I was able to navigate the still broken vaccine appointment “system” (if you can call it a system) and obtain an appointment for a vaccine. Two shots later I am one of the fortunate. And while there is still a way to go, a weight has been lifted from my shoulders. I am on the way back to “normal”. Of course, I must continue to be cautious, follow CDC guidelines, mask, and social distance, but I do feel safer.
One need only follow the news and data emerging from Israel which is leading the world in vaccination of its citizens, to recognize the critical importance of vaccination as the key to ending this pandemic once and for all. With 4 million of its citizens vaccinated, the overwhelming data points to the 95% plus efficacy of the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines. The robust vaccination program there is now allowing that country to open up for the vaccinated in a way unheard of, indeed impossible, over the last year. Businesses, malls, restaurants, cultural and sports venues are now opening up for the vaccinated. The Israeli Government has issued a digital green pass which enables the fully vaccinated to enter these venues, while the non-vaccinated may not.
Unfortunately, in the US we are a long way from the day when our society will reopen in such a wide and safe manner. Vaccine distribution remains problematic and insufficient. Vaccine appointment systems and web sites are deficient and difficult for many – especially the most vulnerable – to navigate. Robust public education and awareness campaigns which are critically needed to educate the public on the safety, effectiveness, and importance of vaccinating are woefully lacking. And the vacuum is being filled by much vaccine “fake news”.
Mass vaccination is our only pathway out of this pandemic. Come on America get your act together and let’s end this pandemic!