After the deadliest months of the coronavirus pandemic, vaccination administration has been picking up nationwide. As of Feb. 9, 62,898,775 were distributed, and 43,206,190 were administered. The two vaccines that are being distributed and administered are the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines. Both are two-dose vaccines, and patients are advised to get the second dose about three to four weeks after the first. Nationwide, the first people to get vaccinated were front-line healthcare workers, with residents at long term care facilities coming in second. Now, many of the people in those two groups have received their vaccines. Even though many people are getting vaccinated every day, it is still important to continue to wear a mask once vaccinated. There is not enough evidence proving that the vaccine can prevent transmission of the virus. Dr. Anthony Fauci took to Twitter on Feb. 4 to explain why masks must continue to be worn for the time being even after vaccination. He tweeted, “Currently, we do not have enough data to be able to say with confidence that the vaccines can prevent transmission. So even if vaccinated, you may still be able to spread the virus to vulnerable people. Masks are vital until we learn more & significantly reduce infections.”
Rosalie Fendrock of Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania recently received the vaccine.
“I will still be wearing a mask for quite a while,” Frendrock said. “I would not give up the practice yet just to be sure the vaccine is doing what it’s supposed to do.”
President Joe Biden has a goal of 100 million vaccines administered in his first 100 days in office. He entered the presidency with a three-fold plan to meet his goal. First, Biden’s administration will increase the weekly number of vaccine shipments from 8.2 million to 10 million. Next, his administration will maintain those numbers for three weeks, allowing states to plan for a month of vaccination. Finally, under Biden’s guidance, the federal government purchased 200 million extra doses of the vaccines, which ensures enough vaccines would be available to vaccinate the entire American public within the next few months.
Many states are moving into the later phases of the vaccine distribution. In Pennsylvania, for example, the state is still in phase 1A of the distribution plan, while also slowly phasing into 1B. 1A is the first stage of the plan which includes healthcare workers and residents of long-term care facilities. 1B includes many other groups of people, including teachers and grocery store workers. In Pennsylvania, teachers are slowly beginning to get vaccinated. Although the vaccine is now available to teachers and those who work in schools, the vaccines are going fast. Many people had trouble registering for their first dose, as appointments to get vaccinated went quickly.
University freshman Jordan Mastrodomenico’s grandparents struggled to get the shot because of how quickly appointments were going.
“Their experience was relatively easy once they got the shot,” she said. “But, the hard part was getting them the appointments since everything booked very quickly.”
Diane McFarlane, a guidance counselor in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania, just received her first dose of the vaccine. Her mother, Rosalie Fendrock, received hers just days before McFarlane. While Fendrock experienced no symptoms after receiving the vaccine besides a sore arm, her daughter experienced a few. She received the vaccine on a Saturday, and by Sunday she was experiencing “tiredness, overall body aches and chills on and off during the day.” By Tuesday though, she was feeling back to normal. Both McFarlane and Fendrock are looking forward to the normalcy that mass vaccination could bring.
“I can’t wait to get out of the house!” Fendrock said.
“The winter months have been hard, especially with so many holidays that we missed being together...we are a big family and you never realize what you miss until it isn't there…looking forward to seeing everyone,” McFarlane said.
As stated by the state of Pennsylvania months ago, the University will be a vaccination site when enough vaccines are available. Although there is no timeline for when that might happen, many students are getting excited about the prospect of finally being vaccinated. Students, among many others across the nation, believe mass vaccination is a step in the right direction, and hopefully back to normalcy.
“I think the vaccine is definitely a step in the right direction, and I will be getting it when it’s available to me,” Mastrodomenico said. “Mass vaccination is absolutely the way to go in terms of ending this pandemic.”