Push for Vaccines: Biden’s plan to change the course of the COVID-19 pandemic

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Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff from Washington D.C, United States via Wikipedia Commons

With the decreasing case numbers in the United States, President Biden is currently rolling out vaccines to put an end to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Kendall Jarvis, News Editor

President Joe Biden spoke on the White House’s actions with the push of vaccines to halt COVID-19. He shared the new funding for domestic and international Coronavirus vaccines on Feb. 11 at the National Institutes of Health in Maryland.

Biden released the budget of 2 billion dollars for international vaccinations on Feb. 11. One of Biden’s senior administration officials commented, “This pandemic is not going to end unless we end it globally.” Biden has also rejoined the World Health Organization (WHO) continuing his fight to reach his goal of ending the pandemic.

The re-entrance to the WHO has promoted the global distribution of vaccines: COVAX, created by the WHO, is a program with the goal of bringing vaccines to poorer nations in hopes of ultimately getting the majority of the population vaccinated.

Aside from international funding, Biden and his administration have also worked to improve domestic vaccinations through both the organization of them and providing additional funding. Biden also covered the 30 percent increase in supplies to the states since his inauguration during his speech. 

Although most people receiving vaccines are elderly or people who work at high-risk places, Biden has assured Americans that everyone in the US will be able to receive a vaccine if they wish by July of this year. Ultimately, resulting in Biden’s expectation that things will reach close to normal by December. 

Although Biden has promised an increase in vaccinations across the country, locally we have not seen much change. Carrie Schmidt, a local RN in Davenport, has been working in a vaccination clinic since January. “It sounds as though the roll-out of the vaccines is the same with or without him in office,” she stated.

Schmidt also explained the disparity between the supply and demand of the vaccine, “The demand for the vaccine is still extremely high. There are many people needing it, but are not in the correct tier to receive it (such as a 50-year-old with COPD)”. 

The ability to make an appointment is also a concern for Schmidt. “One of the main ways to get vaccinated was by jumping online when there was an alert and signing in quickly before the spot was gone. Many of the patients that need the vaccine aren’t technically savvy, so this way of making an appointment is difficult,” she said. 

Other issues with making appointments to receive the vaccine include a language barrier. Schmidt also commented on this, “The information is not coming out to all the populations that are needing it. Many people don’t know how to get the vaccine because they don’t speak English.”

Earlier this month, teachers in the state of Iowa were offered to receive the COVID-19 vaccine. The majority of the teachers at PV accepted this offer and some have received their first dose. 

Angie Musal, a PV gym teacher who received her vaccine on Feb. 6, shared her experience, “I was very excited to be receiving the vaccine and I do feel safer now, but I will definitely continue to wear my mask and try to distance myself from others.” 

With our current COVID-19 restrictions in place, Coronavirus cases have plummeted by 43 percent nationwide in the past 14 days. Currently, only 4.9 percent of the US population is fully-vaccinated, while 12 percent have received one dose of the vaccine. The current statistics are leading to high hopes for the future months this year with the next stage of the pandemic.

However, since the vaccination rate is still low at this time, it will be months before we get close to full immunization worldwide. Musal stated, “I really don’t know what to think about the next school year. Hopefully, we will be a little closer to normal, but even with the vaccine, I think we will still have to use some precautions.”

Schmit agrees and has little hope for the near future. “I truly believe it will be a long time before things return back to the old normal,” she added, “We are going to develop a new normal; masks are going to be around for a while. People will be hesitant to hug and be in large groups for the safety of others.”

With different views all across the globe, the United States is still working together to put an end to the COVID-19 pandemic and immunize everyone, both domestically and globally.