In September, after the Food and Drug Administration authorized certain Covid-19 treatments based more on presidential puffery than on clinical data, some physicians decided to take matters into their own hands.
As the coronavirus vaccines have rolled out across the US, the process has been confusing and disastrous. States, left by the federal government to fend for themselves, have struggled to get a handle on the logistics of distribution. Many, including Georgia, Virginia, and California, have fallen woefully behind schedule.
The pandemic is testing our societal structures like never before. To deal with it successfully, we need to think and act collectively, led by our key institutions. But at a time when unity is critical, are we about to see the effects of a long-standing and corrosive drip feed of mistrust?
Schools are likely to require students to get Covid-19 vaccines in the future, potentially setting the stage for a showdown between reluctant parents and education officials.
It’s hard to imagine a day when people will be as nonchalant about getting their COVID-19 vaccine as they are about getting their flu shot, but it is one possible future reality, experts say.
Earlier this summer, the Summit supercomputer at Oak Ridge National Lab in Tennessee set about crunching data on more than 40,000 genes from 17,000 genetic samples in an effort to better understand Covid-19. Summit is the second-fastest computer in the world, but the process — which involved analyzing 2.5 billion genetic combinations — still took more than a week.
Large numbers of people are suspicious of vaccines and currently unwilling to be vaccinated against Covid-19 once safe and effective vaccines are available. Given that achieving herd immunity as soon as possible depends on widespread immunization, educational campaigns must begin now to overcome this resistance. Some large employers — including Mastercard, Apple, and Google — are already trying to educate their employees. Others must follow suit.