The Good News About Vaccines
Despite some glitches, effort is going well. And early returns suggest they are very effective.
Amidst all the bad news on the spread of the covid virus, there is some daylight to run to.
David Leonhardt of the New York Times has reported that the vaccines now on the market or coming to market are even better than expected. He points out that if metrics would assess prevention of serious illness – versus any illness – the percentage of people protected would be even higher than the 95% attributed to the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines.
At the same time, there is unending criticism about the vaccine rollout across all 50 states. Government officials are being hammered for their inept management of vaccinations.
Many people over 65 are extremely frustrated as they struggle to get an appointment for a shot. Phone calls go unanswered and email queries are useless.
Yet, right here in Washington County is a sterling example of very effective rollout of vaccinations. Froedtert Health was notified last week that it was getting 15,000 doses of the Moderna vaccine. The next day the system began contacting their patients over 65 by phone or email.
Kudos to Froedtert managers for getting a jump on the vaccination schedule. Before they knew when or how many doses they were getting, they plowed through their files to identify eligible patients and were ready to notify them as soon as the doses hit their door.
One day after they learned they were receiving the vaccine, they were putting needles in arms every five minutes. Within five days they had scheduled all 15,000 doses.
There are examples to the contrary, but overall the big health care systems in Wisconsin are stepping up to the plate with fast vaccination rates.
Across the country, more than a million people a day are being vaccinated. That’s enough to meet the goal set by President Joe Biden for 100 million vaccinations in his first 100 days in office.
The biggest constraint right now appears to be getting enough vaccine doses into the hands of the hospitals and approved sites. Froedtert could perform a lot more shots if they had the vaccine.
At the state level, job one for the state bureaucrats is to get all their vaccine in their inventory out the door and into the hands of the providers. Forget holding reserves.
Job 2 for Wisconsin is to lobby for a bigger share of available vaccines at the federal level.
Job 3 would include emergency approval at the federal level of several vaccines that are just coming to market. The additional vaccines are reportedly good enough in trials to justify their emergency release to the market. The process of approving the new drugs cannot be rushed, but it can be expedited.
Part of the successful rollout of the two drugs on the market was a heightened level of collaboration between the scientists and drug companies across the world. Breakthroughs in the labs became public knowledge and shared quickly on the internet instead of going through an elaborate process of peer review.
That collaboration needs to be sanctioned at all levels of government across the world, and the drug companies need to be rewarded for that collaboration.
This column from a non-scientist is not meant to be Pollyannaish, but it is an attempt to spread enormously good news in the face of negative non-scientific opinions.
We can’t wait to see and hug our kids, our grandkids and friends again.
That experience must be given to all Americans ASAP. This is a war we are fighting.
Even one shot by any of the vaccines helps us all by speeding immunity.
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- MHD Release: Milwaukee Health Department Launches COVID-19 Wastewater Testing Dashboard - City of Milwaukee Health Department - Jan 23rd, 2024
- Milwaukee County Announces New Policies Related to COVID-19 Pandemic - County Executive David Crowley - May 9th, 2023
- DHS Details End of Emergency COVID-19 Response - Wisconsin Department of Health Services - Apr 26th, 2023
- Milwaukee Health Department Announces Upcoming Changes to COVID-19 Services - City of Milwaukee Health Department - Mar 17th, 2023
- Fitzgerald Applauds Passage of COVID-19 Origin Act - U.S. Rep. Scott Fitzgerald - Mar 10th, 2023
- DHS Expands Free COVID-19 Testing Program - Wisconsin Department of Health Services - Feb 10th, 2023
- MKE County: COVID-19 Hospitalizations Rising - Graham Kilmer - Jan 16th, 2023
- Not Enough Getting Bivalent Booster Shots, State Health Officials Warn - Gaby Vinick - Dec 26th, 2022
- Nearly All Wisconsinites Age 6 Months and Older Now Eligible for Updated COVID-19 Vaccine - Wisconsin Department of Health Services - Dec 15th, 2022
- City of Milwaukee Bi-Weekly COVID-19 Update - City of Milwaukee Health Department - Dec 9th, 2022
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