COVID-19 updates: Vaccines, outbreaks, and more


Image Source: Reuters

Sophie Machnik, Contributing Writer

After several hopeless months of living through this global pandemic, a potential solution has finally been discovered. In early December of 2020, the Food and Drug Administration gave the approval to put the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine into use.  The vaccine consists of two shots that are taken 21 days apart. Since then, over 2 million people have been vaccinated with both shots, and 11.1 million have received one dosage. Two German scientists, Özlem Türeci and Ugur Sahin, were the creators of the vaccine. The two dedicated their lives to the field of infectious diseases. The couple also investigated and developed possible cures for cancer. Thanks to their specialties, the US now obtains a solution with a 90 percent effective rate. Vaccines will continue to be distributed throughout the country, and over 100 people will be vaccinated each day. 

I asked Ms. Goyette, the teacher of my Journalism class, what her thoughts were on the vaccine.Things won’t return to normal until a large percentage of Americans get the vaccine. I can see how some people might be hesitant about the vaccine, but I personally can’t wait to get it. I’ve heard about some minor side effects from my friends and family who have already gotten it, but to me, having a sore arm for a few days is worth it to keep myself and those around me safe.”

With the remaining 25.5 million cases in the United States, President Joe Biden will also begin his plan to defeat this virus. Not only is he aiming to bring the cases down, but he is also working towards cleaning up the effects of this virus. He plans on facing economic consequences and providing families, small businesses, and workers with the help they need. To do so, he will start with Emergency Paid Leave which ensures that employees will receive 10 days of paid sick time. This will be enforced for those who were severely affected. Biden also plans on ensuring a wide availability of free testing across the county. Joe Biden’s plan should provide Americans with a professional and efficient response. 

Although the vaccine is being distributed at an efficient rate along with other responses, it is still important to maintain safe habits to prevent any more outbreaks. Face-coverings or masks should be worn consistently. Wearing a mask is a simple and selfless way of decreasing the spread of COVID-19. Not only does it prevent the virus from infecting you, but it also protects others. People should also continue to social distance themselves by staying at home and avoiding large gatherings. These protocols can be difficult, but it is one step closer to ending this pandemic.