Wednesday, March 03, 2021

Persistence an ally in vaccine quest

| February 3, 2021 1:00 AM

Disclaimer: What you’re about to read should in no way encourage you to burn your masks, ignore social distancing or celebrate with a wild, wall-to-wall drunken bash. Doing any of these things will more than offset the good news with bad.

But here’s a ray of sunshine through the storm clouds of COVID-19: No matter what’s happening with infection rates, evidence is mounting that the bottom line with vaccines looks very positive indeed.

According to a Monday article in The New York Times by David Leonhardt, the five vaccines that have undergone trials are significantly reducing hospitalizations and eliminating COVID-19-related deaths.

Results are also encouraging that at least some of the vaccines will help blunt the most serious impacts from variants of the virus.

People are now used to monitoring the daily numbers of confirmed COVID-19 cases — how many people have tested positive, how many have been hospitalized, how many are in ICU and how many have died. As Leonhardt suggests, the number of cases is far less important than the numbers of those hospitalized or killed by the virus.

And the vaccines, all five of them, have thus far shown to be completely effective in preventing deaths.

In Kootenai County, thousands of residents want the vaccines being administered, Pfizer and Moderna. Unfortunately, demand is outstripping supply in a huge way, leading to tremendous frustration among those who qualify for the vaccine right now but can’t even sign up because phone lines and websites are overloaded.

It’s one thing to see your name near the bottom of a list. It’s another to try and try and try, and not even get on the list.

Please, be patient but persist. And when the time comes, we hope much sooner than later, don’t be too picky about which vaccine you get.

Here’s how Leonhardt concluded his article:

Last week, Dr. William Schaffner of Vanderbilt University told my colleague Denise Grady about a conversation he had with other experts. During it, they imagined that a close relative had to choose between getting the Johnson & Johnson vaccine now or waiting three weeks to get the Moderna or Pfizer vaccine. “All of us said, ‘Get the one tomorrow,’” Schaffner said. “The virus is bad. You’re risking three more weeks of exposure as opposed to getting protection tomorrow.”