WASHINGTON – President Joe Biden stated that the US is expecting enough supply of coronavirus vaccine to vaccinate all adults by the end of May. Earlier the government anticipated that every adult will be vaccinated by the end of July. This new early bump in timeline came with the Biden administration announcing drugmaker Merck & Co. will be helping its rival Johnson & Johnson to produce its newly approved shot.
President Biden also emphasized that he would use federal authority to offer vaccinations to teachers and child-care workers, aiming that by the end of March, at least the first shot will be administered to all educators.
President Joe Biden tweeted yesterday “Today, I am directing every state to prioritize educators for vaccination. We want every educator, school staff member, and child-care worker to receive at least one shot by the end of this month. It’s time to treat in-person learning like the essential service that it is.”
When asked about when the country can resume its life back to normal, President Biden mentioned that he had been “cautioned” not to offer such predictions because of uncertainty and new strains of coronavirus, he still stated, “My hope is by this time next year, we’re going to be back to normal”
Even though the country’s top infectious disease expert Dr. Anthony Fauci, along with The White House, has objected for states to provide any relaxation for virus protocols until more Americans get vaccinated, many states across the country are moving to relax virus-related restrictions with Texas and Mississipi being the latest US states looking to nix face covering and mandatory mask requirements.
Texas Governor, Greg Abbott said: “ It is now time to open Texas 100 percent”. He also added that “Covid has not suddenly disappeared” but state mandates are no longer required. Texas has decided to lift its mask mandate requirement and would allow businesses to fully reopen. Mississippi has also ditched its mask mandate. South Carolina has removed restrictions on limits for large gatherings, Restaurants in Massachusetts were now allowed to operate at full capacity.
Dr. Anthony Fauci has previously warned that about 80% of the nation’s population should be vaccinated to achieve “herd immunity” whereas according to the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention, only 8% of the population has been vaccinated although the pace for vaccination is picking up. Fauci said a small gathering at home where you and all other guests are vaccinated is relatively safe as the bubble is small.
“Small gatherings in the home, I think you can clearly feel the relative risk is so low that you wouldn’t have to wear the mask. You could have a good social gathering in the home”, Fauci said. But, Fauci still clarified that it is not safe to attend large gatherings during this pandemic.
“The setting in a home of a small group of people having dinner together, all of whom are vaccinated, is very different when you step out the door and go into a society that has 70,000 new cases a day,” Fauci added.
Ending the pandemic has been a top priority for Biden’s administration and he also promised to reopen schools in the first 100 days of his tenure. Biden administration is taking measures to achieve this challenge and bringing this country's life back to normal. The country has seen a decline in the number of cases compared to the last months but 60,000 cases per day are still worrisome. People should not let our guard down especially when we are so close to the end of this pandemic.
The U.S. has reported more than 28,800,000 cases of COVID-19 since the start of the pandemic. Over 517,000 people in the country have died because of this coronavirus with more than 1800 Americans dying on Tuesday alone. While the effectiveness of the COVID vaccines remains to be seen but there is a glimmer of hope as the number of cases is going down as the rate at which people are being vaccinated is accelerating. It will be interesting to see how good Washington does on its promise for rapid vaccination, especially with states like Mississipi and Texas relaxing the mandatory safety protocols for COVID-19.