I just got back from driving to the store to get envelopes. I happened to have Fox News on the radio instead the “50’s” like I normally do. From what I heard, the big discussion of the day seems to be the controversy about the timeline for the release of a Covid-19 vaccine. I heard them say that the President was talking about a release sometime soon and the CDC Director taking about a release in the second or third quarter of 2021. Sounds like controversy worth spending hours talking about, or does it?
Words matter! Remember when we had a President who said “It depends on what the definition of “is” is.” In that case he was attempting to hide the fact he had been having an affair. This new controversy may be a little more important to get right. So what are they both saying?
The President says the task force has put in place a plan so 100 million doses of the vaccine will be available for delivery as soon as an approvable is given to distribute one. They think that could come as soon as the end of October or sometime in November. Those doses will be available for use by those most at risk. They are also saying that an additional 700 million doses will be available by the end of March 2021. Once given, that should cover the rest of our population, or at least those who have chosen to take it.
So what did the CDC Director say that is so different. He said the vaccine won’t be available for wide spread use by the public until the second or possibly the third quarter.
Since words matter, what is the difference between the two statements? The end of March is the end of the first quarter. The second quarter starts April 1st. So is Washington worried about a day or two or a few days. It seems so.
When I look at what the two are saying they aren’t far off. The President is letting the public know that a vaccine is coming out soon and the most vulnerable will be getting it first. He is also letting us know that a supply of vaccine large enough to cover everyone will be available by the second quarter of 2021. Being available is just the first step in getting the general public vaccinated, but it is the first and most critical step.
I see the CDC also correctly stating that the process of getting the vaccine distributed to those who will be giving it to the general public will take some time. He is also saying that all general public, who choose to be vaccinated, will have that opportunity by the second or third quarter.
I don’t see that those are contradictory statements. I certainly don’t understand how those in Washington think its worth spending any time on.
What I see is a process that seems to be working and that, if a vaccine passes all the necessary approval steps, will be available to the general public in record time.
If part of the controversy is about who gets the vaccine first, let’s look at the latest (2:03 PM 9/17/20) Ross County Health District statistics. There have been 834 confirmed and 3 suspected cases. Of those cases, 392 came from Healthcare Workers, Nursing Home Residents, Corrections Employees and Inmates. That accounts to close to half (47%) of all cases. Yet accounts for a small portion of the population living in Ross County.
So let’s be thankful that it looks like a vaccine may be available in record time. Let’s be glad that the first 100 million doses will go to those who are at greatest risk. That will make the rest of the population safer! And let’s be glad making the vaccine available to the entire population in record time, whether that’s in the second or third quarter, looks like it will occur. If that is accomplished it certainly will be a testimony to the creativity, ingenuity and hard work of those involved. And that even includes our President.
I, for one, am thankful and I won’t worry about whether the definition of “soon” is the second or third quarter of 2021! There really isn’t that much difference.