The Dim Light Near the End of the Tunnel

Mississippi has been administering coronavirus vaccines since the beginning of the year, but only 100,000 people have gotten their first doses. According to Fortune magazine, roughly 5% of Americans have received their first doses. At that rate, it will take another 20 months to complete this process, which is hardly what we envisioned late last year when the FDA began approving vaccines.

I have three issues of concern: first, why has the rollout been slow? Second, why have some people expressed reluctance to take the vaccine? Third, should certain professions and organizations be allowed to require vaccination?

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12 Responses to The Dim Light Near the End of the Tunnel

  1. Chloe Sharp says:

    I will try to address your 3 concerns as best I can. First, I strongly believe that the rollout has been so slow because since this pandemic began, we had an administration in the White House that consistently put anything COVID-19 related on the back burner. So, when the vaccine did come out, everyone was scrambling to try to come up with distribution plans and policies. It is my belief and great hope that the new administration will actually take charge of vaccine distribution so that the country can have a good, cohesive plan to follow, rather than leaving it up to individual states and cities to decide how to distribute the vaccine and to whom. Second, as I said in class I believe that there are 3 reasons why people are reluctant to take the vaccine:
    1. They believe that it was developed too fast and (falsely) think that the timeliness of the vaccine means that it wasn’t tested as much as other vaccines.
    2. They think that because the vaccine changes your RNA, it will somehow alter your genetic code.
    3. They think that the vaccine is just a way for the government to microchip us.
    As for your 3rd concern, that one is more tricky. While I do think that the best thing for the country right now is for everyone to have to get the vaccine, it sets a bad precedent for the future. However, I think that right now, and specifically for the COVID-19 vaccine because it is a mass public health issue, professions and organizations should be able to require you to tell them whether or not you have received the vaccine. That way, they can make decisions about the safest way for them to run their organization. However, that is also something the US would need to keep a very close eye on to make sure that there is no discrimination taking place in professions and organizations for reasons other than receiving the COVID-19 vaccine.

  2. Xiaohan Yu says:

    I would like to share my opinion on the distribution of the vaccine and the requirements for vaccinations.

    Firstly, it is my firm belief that 2020 has impacted our nation in more than one way. The controversial Trump administration, the detest and love towards Biden’s election, and the assault on the White House all have shifted our attention away from COVID-19. In another word, the inauguration and the chaos it has caused has moved the distribution of the vaccine to page 2 on the to-do list. I strongly hope that we would redirect our attention from what’s politically harming our nation to what is physically doing so.

    Secondly, there are numerous reasons why people would be reluctant to take the vaccine. The main issue for most of the people is the fear of the unknown. Not all Americans are well educated, which might result in people not understanding how the vaccine functions. To some U.S. citizens, having a medicine that produces RNA within your body could sound alarming. Another school of thought could simply be the ignorance of some people. From what was observed from the flu shots, it’s obvious that some people are unwise enough to believe that they won’t catch the virus; therefore, they won’t need the vaccine.

    Lastly, I whole-hearted agree that some professions should be required to take the vaccine. Professions that are expected to come in close contact with others, such as a bus driver, a teacher, or a cook, should apply for the vaccine. Their vaccinated status affects not only their own safety, but everyone they are close to. People with those jobs shouldn’t have control over the safety of others around them.

    In summary, the U.S. should place more attention to the distribution of the vaccine, and set requirements for certain occupations to be vaccinated.

  3. Aadhav Senthil says:

    I would like to address the question on whether certain organizations or professions should require the vaccine. I would also like to address the question on reluctance to take the vaccine, and lastly I will address why the vaccines were rolled out slowly.
    Firstly certain organizations or professions should require their employees or patrons to be vaccinated because of the work that they do. For example, teachers, volunteers, and employees in stores that are a part of our daily lives. These groups of people are essential to everyone and come in contact with a lot of people. It is important that they stay safe for their well being as well as for the well being of the community. Teachers come in contact with children and are meant to impact them with knowledge, but if the teacher were to get sick it would be difficult for students to learn. Volunteers also affect many lives as they are volunteering to help others. Lastly employees that work in grocery stores, restaurants, etc. . These employees come in contact with most people, dare I say everyone. In order to keep themselves as well as the customers safe they should be required to take the vaccine.
    Secondly the question on reluctance to take the vaccine. Most people are not educated on how the vaccine works and as the people before me have commented they may confuse RNA for DNA and might believe that taking the shot will change their genetic makeup. Some people refuse to take the vaccine because they believe it was rolled out too fast. They believe that the vaccines were not tested enough, even though there is extensive evidence on that the vaccine is efficient in fighting the virus.
    Lastly, I believe that the vaccines were rolled out slowly due to the problems that the country has faced in the past weeks. There have been many troubles with the elections and that could have caused a large portion of the hold up. The different protests that followed the elections were also important in the slow rollout. Another reason for the speed of the rollout is miscommunication because in some states there are countless vaccines that have not been used, but other states don’t have many. The last main reason for the slow rollout could be that only a few companies are producing the vaccine and only a few of them have been approved, but it is likely that many more will follow.

  4. Alexis S. says:

    I believe the first two questions tie into each other. I feel that people have been reluctant to get the vaccine because it is the first “round,” per say. What I mean by this is that this is the first form of the medicine that is available to the public. Since it is the first, there is not much information on it. People know it is a vaccine and that it is supposed to help with COVID, however since it is new, people are scared to take it. Or as I have seen one celebrity say, they want to see how the first round affects people. Basically, people want to make sure its “safe” before they consider getting it themselves.
    As for the third question, I’m not really sure how to answer it. I can see certain professions that would require it, though. Such as those in the medical field. If they take the vaccine, then they can better help their community since it will be harder for them to get sick. I can also see delivery companies requiring it since they have so much contact with other people. It would not only keep the customers safe, but the employees too. But as for whether or not certain professions should require it, I think that is mainly up to them.

  5. Annemarie Coatney says:

    I am certainly no authority on the subject, but I have a few guesses as to why this initial rollout has been so slow. The first would be that a mass vaccination of this scale hasn’t really been tried before. The second would be that it must take massive amounts of organizational effort that I can’t imagine the Trump administration undertook with as must enthusiasm or rigor as other administrations might have, seeing as the president made numerous attempts to downplay the severity of the pandemic. The third would be that public health departments, who are significantly responsible for administering the vaccines, are underfunded and understaffed.
    As for your second concern, I imagine the main reason people aren’t overly enthusiastic about getting the vaccine is that it is a relatively new one. People don’t want to get a vaccine with long-term effects that have not been significantly documented. Additionally, many are afraid of the new method that the vaccine uses, as they don’t understand it. To someone who doesn’t understand the process, a vaccine that instructs the body to produce a part of the very virus it is guarding against might seem curious or even harmful. In a word, the reason people don’t want to get the virus is distrust, a feeling aided greatly by a former president who labeled anything, including respectable sources, that didn’t suit his purposes as “wrong” or “fake.”
    To address your third concern, I do believe that certain professions and organization should be allowed to require vaccinations. Part of the reason I believe this comes from the example of vaccinations children are required to get to attend public school. For children, school functions as their profession and the organization whose rules they must obey. Getting vaccinations that keep their “coworkers” safe is one of the rules they must obey. In Mississippi, these required vaccines include chickenpox, polio, Hepatitis B, measles, mumps, and rubella. While masks do decrease the risk of COVID-19 spread, even with mask mandates, the numbers of new cases continue to rise. In particular reference to professions that come in close, persistent contact with large numbers of people, mandating vaccines would significantly reduce the rate at which COVID-19 spreads.

  6. Nina Patel says:

    For the first and second questions, I think the rollout has been slow because of the US’s problems. The election has put a significant stop to the rollout. States set aside doses for the higher groups, such as rich people, politicians, and other high priority groups. Public health officials left states to decide what they want to with the vaccine doses. States have to choose how they want to distribute the doses. The vaccine is also low in supply. There are not many companies producing the vaccine. Since there are two doses for the vaccine, materials for the vaccine are running low as well. There are also not many people wanting to get the vaccine because of how fast it was produced. It is also because people think that there are questionable substances in the vaccine, which I think is a bit over the top. For the third question, I believe that some organizations should be required to get the vaccine because it keeps the employees safe. For example, health care workers should be directed to get the vaccine because COVID-19 surrounds them.

  7. Khushi Patel says:

    Here are some of the points that I would like to share regarding the questions mentioned above:
    First, I think the slow rollout of the vaccines is caused by many events, while some important than others, all the events play some role. We only have limited numbers of approved vaccines available throughout the world, meaning the production of the vaccines is not enough to meet the demands. The lack of proper planning by the previous government also comes into the picture. I believe during this time the previous president did not handle the situation as he could have.
    Second, people have doubts about taking the vaccine because the vaccine was made very fast. They believe because it was made so fast there is a chance something could wrong. It was the first genetic vaccine of its kind. There might be some unknown long-term effects we do not know of yet. Also, some people do not know a lot about the vaccine.
    And last, I believe organizations and professions should require vaccination because it can make the process of getting everyone vaccinated faster. The people who are around the public every day should definitely be required to get the vaccine such as people who go to work and students. It also is a safe way to slow the spread of the virus. In the meantime, I believe masks should be required everywhere you go in public. There should be certain rules and regulations that the people must follow to make public places safer.

  8. Zuyi Li says:

    COVID-19 has affected everyone’s life. It is one of the worst pandemics in human history. Thanks to all the technological advances in recent years, humans are able to develop a vaccine within a year. This is something that has never been done in the past, which raises many concerns and controversies.
    This is a very new type of vaccine, it utilizes mRNA to help people get immunity against COVID-19. This type of technology has never been used in a vaccine. With less than a year of experimenting and testing, many have concerns about the long term effect of the vaccine. It is very easy for humans to feel fear of things that are unknown. There are also many cases reported with severe allergies after being vaccinated.
    This year is also a big year for America. 2020 is an election year, come with that is a new government. Many policies will change and the direction of our country for the next four years will also be changed. In this transition period, there are many variables that can cause vaccines to be delayed. I believe even the vaccine will be rolling out slowly at first, but with the new government in place, the situation will turn around very quickly.
    Lastly, I firmly believe certain professions and organizations should be allowed to require vaccination. As we all know, COVID-19 is a virus that can spread very easily. With all the requirements to wear a mask and social distancing, it is still very hard to keep the virus from spreading. By having people that work in a high-risk area, not only vaccination will protect them from the virus. It will also help with them spreading the virus to others. People that work in the hospital, school cafeteria, and retirement homes especially need to be vaccinated. These are some of the most vulnerable groups of people. Making people that live or work in that kind of environment should be a priority.

  9. Cadi Springer says:

    I think that, as far as vaccines, it will always be complicated. After seeing things like HIV coming from the early Polio vaccine and many other things, it is very normal and understandable to be hesitant to take a Covid-19 vaccine that’s been made in a fraction of the time. However, I believe in science and I believe that I’d rather take a small shot of mRNA than have more friends and family die of the deadly virus. I’m sure vaccines are not easy to make, either. I’m sure they also lack the facilities that are acceptable environments for making these vaccines. There are a lot of factors that could be contributing to the slow rollout. After the rollout pace quickens, I believe it is 100% acceptable of businesses to require vaccines for their employees. It is the same case as schools requiring TB shots and others for children before they can attend. It is all to prevent the spread of deadly diseases and there is nothing wrong with that. Anyone who disagrees is probably an anti-vaxer. In this case, they cannot be helped.

  10. Cadi Springer says:

    I think there are many factors that affect the rollout of vaccines. They lack facilities that are proper environments to make vaccines, they do not have enough people that are trained to make them, and they do not have enough supplies. No one was prepared for this pandemic especially pharmaceutical companies.
    The questionability of the vaccine and how it was made is something that is a very popular topic of discussion. There are many conspiracy theories about the vaccine’s contents and the history of vaccines themselves and their side affects. No one wants this vaccine to end up becoming another HIV/AIDS epidemic like the Polio vaccine caused. Not to mention, our government officials make it worse by contributing to these theories and even creating their own.
    Though many feel the vaccine is too good to be true, I can say that I believe, when the kinks are worked out, that all establishments should require it of all their employees. All public schools require their students to be vaccinated for things like TB, Measles, Smallpox, and many other deadly diseases. If parents do not like it, they pay to put their children in a private school that doesn’t require them. Just as schools are able to require these vaccinations, employers should be able to as well to help stop the spread of Coronavirus through commerce.

  11. Madison Flowers says:

    Beginning with your first question, I believe the rollout for the COVID-19 vaccination was slow due to the Trump administration. Trump spent an undeniable amount of time trying to prove his defeat was faulty when he could’ve been making sure things were getting done. In addition, one cannot forget how the former President denied the severity of Covid-19 for months pushing us further and further into irreversible damage while he was out somewhere playing golf. So to address this issue, I think our previous administration is at fault for the slow vaccination rollout.

    Second, there are several reasons why people are reluctant to take the vaccine. Famously, there are people who simply believe COVID-19 is a hoax. Therefore, they are lead to believe that the vaccination is for government control such as to insert a chip into us. This theory doesn’t make any logical sense being that the government has several ways of tracking our every move such as purchases, social security number, and cell phone. In addition, people believe that the vaccine was rushed. While the vaccine was put out faster than usual, several trials were given to prove effectiveness and so far there have been no major out of the ordinary side effects.

    Lastly, I believe that certain professions should be required to take the vaccine. For example, frontline workers should have to take the vaccine in order to protect the health of themselves, their patients, and their families. If you work in a contact predominant field, it is purely common sense to want to protect yourself and others.

  12. Chingun Tsogt-Erdene says:

    Beginning with your first question, I believe the rollout has been slow because this is a situation that no one has ever done before. It cannot be expected that the mass vaccination process can start off fast and perfectly because this has never happened before. We are humans and it takes time to learn and figure out situations to make them more efficient. It may start slow but eventually it will get faster.

    With the second question it goes down to fear and trust. People are scared that the vaccine is not safe because it was made in less than a year. However, there are facts that they must come to terms to and trust science. I have also heard that the vaccine is used to “microchip” people. Although we live in a world where we are patrolled 24/7 through cameras and cell phones, this should be your last concern. We are in a pandemic and getting the vaccine can save thousands of lives.

    I do not think requiring to get vaccinated can be successful. There are many of people that are already against the covid vaccine which makes things difficult as it is. I believe it should be up to the organizations to choose whether or not they require employees to be vaccinated.

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