I suppose by now you’ve come to the realization that I’ve been keeping track of the spread of Covid-19. It appeared to me that things are not going to get appreciatively better anytime soon, so I began to focus my attention on another area—that of the vaccine.
For quite some time we’ve been told not to expect a vaccine before the end of the year at the earliest, most likely not for another 12-18 months. I figure that when the time comes there is going to be a mad dash to get in line to be jabbed with the needle (it could be sugar cubes again, I suppose). So I went and put my name on the list. I have secured my place in line at 6,234,962. My suggestion is that you do the same. It’s an easy process. Just go to the website and fill out all the information as accurately as possible. Especially be clear about where you will be when the time comes for you to receive the vaccination. I’ve been told that there is a verification process, but I don’t know what that might be.
Why secure a place in line? Let me tell you my reasoning:
Let’s say the researches have a giant breakthrough and they’ve developed a vaccination by the end of this year. Also, let’s assume that adequate testing has been accomplished and that the drug to combat Covid-19 is declared 100% safe. It’s ready to go. That sounds great, doesn’t it? Sure it does.
Here’s where the problems begin. Just because there is a vaccine does not mean that there is a vaccine readily available. It has to be massed produced. Who is going to produce this miracle drug? Oh, the pharmaceuticals you say. Of course they will. But, they don’t have the facilities to do so. What? Surely they’ve been spitting out mass quantities of drugs without much of a hitch for years. The manufacturing plants exist. Yes, they do. But, they are busy churning out drugs that are in much demand now. They can’t stop making them to make this new drug. Because if they do, then someone is going to go without the life preserving drug they so desperately need.
Think about this. In order to produce the vaccination for Covid-19 the drug companies will have to scale back on the amount of drugs that are prolonging life for so many, i.e. pain medication, diabetes medicine, medications to combat HIV, rheumatoid arthritis, blood pressure, cholesterol, bi-polar problems, hepatitis, etc. I could go on, but I think you get the picture.
So, what the pharmaceuticals will have to do is build new plants for this new drug. And that takes time. Also they will need to ramp up production so that we can vaccinate millions of people rapidly. Suppose the companies can produce ten million doses of vaccine annually. Folks, there are over 300 million people in this country alone. Not everyone is going to get what they need immediately. It could take years.
Let’s say they can produce 100 million doses annually (I’m a bit skeptical about that number). At that rate it will take 3 1/2 years to vaccinate everyone in this country, and another 50 plus years to vaccinate everyone in the world. But, let’s not worry about the rest of the world. They can fend for themselves. Right?
The way I see it, there is going to have to be some sort of hierarchy established so that everyone can be vaccinated depending on how essential they are within the ranks of our population. Who establishes this? The government? Now there’s a train wreck waiting to happen. Currently, there is the website. Will that be how it is done? I don’t know, but it’s a start. That’s why I’ve got my place in line.
Oh, something else to think about. Who’s going to pay for this brand new drug? We all know that if you’ve been prescribed a new drug it can break the bank. At $10 a dose, that equates to approximately $3.5 billion dollars to vaccinate everyone in this country. And whoever heard of a new drug being purchased for $10. And then there’s the delivery system—the cost of transporting the drug to where it needs to be, the cost of administering it, and assorted other costs that someone, somewhere will come up with. I guess our health insurance can foot the bill. I see a rise in rates in the very near future—again. And not everyone in this country has health insurance. Another travesty.
What I’m getting at is that we should not expect a miracle vaccination to be injected into our bodies anytime soon. It might be there soon, but it won’t be here soon. So, get your place in line. You might be waiting years, but at least you will be able to rest easy knowing that when the time comes you will receive yours. And you will be receiving yours, whether it’s what you actually expect or not is another story altogether.
Good night, Mrs. Jackson, wherever you are.