Vaccine rollout reaches over 300K

Michigan ramps up next week, moves to next phase

A testing clinic worker at Ferris swabs a test from last week’s round of
move-in testing. Photo by: Cassidy Jessup | Multimedia Editor

Although the COVID-19 vaccines just came out the US is already falling behind on delivery. 

In a speech given last Thursday, President-Elect Joe Biden laid out the beginnings of a new policy he plans to implement called the “American Rescue Plan.”

With this plan Biden hopes to have 100 million doses of the vaccine out to Americans within his first 100 days in office.

He went on to say that the plan includes money for the infrastructure and medical staff needed to give the vaccine. The amount of which is still unclear at this time as the bill text has yet to be released.

As for current vaccine delivery, numbers are finally picking up for Michigan. In early January Michigan ranked seventh-worst in the country, but now it’s hovering around 25th. As of Jan. 15, at 6 a.m. the CDC reports 364,000 doses of the vaccine have been administered in the state.

“The hospital I work at is doing a great job at making sure whoever is interested in getting the COVID vaccine is able receive a dose. Once your scheduled first dose is administered you are directed to schedule your second dose on a specific date depending on the manufacture of the vaccine you received,” said second-year pharmacy student Justin Mikitaroff.

On Jan. 11, those over the age of 65 and some select frontline workers became eligible to receive the vaccines.

There have been very few serious issues post-injection. Over nine million Americans have received the vaccine and out of those there were 29 reported cases of anaphylaxis, but all recovered. There has been one reported case of death, but Pfizer is currently investigating it due to the unprecedented circumstances.

“The vaccines appear to be safe and effective, said pharmacy professor Michael Klepser. “I would not be hesitant to recommend individuals getting those vaccines. Some of the reports that we have heard about some of the reactions, in which all are indicators the vaccine actually works. When a vaccine gets in your body it stimulates your natural immunity and because of that maybe you feel a little cruddy as your body is generating that immune response. Maybe your arm is sore because of that localized immune response. That means the vaccine is working well and these vaccines are working well.” 

These vaccines aren’t like others before them. Instead of containing a weakened or dead strain of the disease it’s fighting the COVID-19 vaccines using mRNA, which is a molecule used by living cells to change a gene sequence in the recipient’s DNA into proteins that build up to block the virus from attaching.

The Pfizer vaccine has a 95% effectiveness rate and the Moderna vaccine has a 94.1% effectiveness rate. At this time, the general population should be able to receive the vaccine in the late summer to early fall. 

Graphic from MDHHS website