Millions Receiving COVID-19 Vaccine as Biden Moves Into Office

Many people are being vaccinated across the country as the production and distribution of the COVID-19 vaccine are now in full effect.

10.8% of people in the U.S. have received at least their first shot and 194 million doses have been distributed worldwide as President Joe Biden has directed federal agencies to use all legal authorities to boost vaccine supply by partnering with pharmacies across the country, distributing the vaccine by population.  Similarly, Biden is planning on allocating between three and five billion dollars to the states to both repay them for their PPE expenses and to help speed up the vaccine distribution process. 

The Pfizer and Moderna COVID-19 vaccines both have two doses, with the second dose administered three to four weeks after the first one. 5.4% of Americans have received both doses so far; however, these numbers are expected to go up soon, as President Biden has announced that ten million doses will be given per week, and his administration is aiming to vaccinate 100 million during his first 100 days in office. 

While this is good news, there are still many uncertainties. The two companies producing the vaccines, Moderna and Pfizer, have a lot on their plates in terms of rolling out enough vaccines to meet global demand. It will certainly be difficult to get all doses out on time for everybody. 

Another vaccine, the Johnson and Johnson’s vaccine, is also reportedly having issues before it has even been authorized. In addition to the uncertainty of quantity, there are many people who do not want to take the vaccine out of fear of vaccine reactions. Many of these fears are derived from social media posts, groups, and other inaccurate sources. While side effects such as fevers, chills, aches, and tiredness have been observed after the first and second doses, death is uncommon and an unproven reaction. Deaths following vaccination have not been directly related to receiving it; after testing, most were inconclusive or from natural causes.

One of these cases is Tim Zook, who was sixty years old when he died. Zook was a healthcare worker who passed away after being injected with his second dose of the vaccine. He started having problems breathing and an upset stomach two days after being vaccinated, and died that night in the hospital. The cause of death has been ruled inconclusive as more toxicology reports are needed. Vook was a strong believer in vaccines and his wife said she is “sure he would take that vaccine again, and he’d want the public to take it.” 

Maryland is currently in stage 1C, meaning that all licensed healthcare providers, educators, law enforcement, fire fighters, and EMTs, and adults over the age of sixty-five are among the largest groups eligible to receive their first dose. Eligible groups and vaccine sites can be found here

As the vaccine rollout continues, many eligible people across the state have been running into problems regarding appointments. Because of this, it has recently been announced that Maryland will be launching a pre-registration portal for people looking to schedule a vaccine appointment. While the portal will be for mass vaccination sites only, it will help organize appointments across the state for the coming months.

As vaccination continues throughout the country, we should continue to see case numbers decline. As of March 4, only 3.28% of all Maryland tests are coming back positive for the virus with a -.07% decline in just the past 24 hours. When most of the population is vaccinated, herd immunity will take effect, protecting the people who are unable to get the vaccination due to health reasons. To protect these people and to return to some semblance of normality in the coming months, it is important that all people eligible get the vaccine as soon as they can. 


For more breaking news and photos, follow The Wingspan on Instagram and Twitter @CHSWingspan.