The hope of two effective vaccines is exactly what we need, but we shouldn’t get ahead of ourselves and let things get even worse.
We’ve had some great news over the past few weeks about two COVID-19 vaccines that have shown great effectiveness and are under FDA review.
But that doesn’t mean we’re done with the pandemic.
In interviews and online conferences, I’ve heard some refreshingly realistic talk about how the vaccines feel like a light at the end of the tunnel, but there’s still plenty of tunnel yet. While the vaccines could see approval in the U.S. shortly, allowing for the beginning of distribution even before the end of the year, it’s still going to be a long time before it’s available to the general public.
There will be a list of prioritized vaccine recipients, with medical professionals, first responders and those with serious health concerns rightfully at the top. How the rest of that priority list plays out, I have no idea, but for the average person, it’s likely going to be well into 2021.
It’s a logistics thing. They are figuring out cold storage, distribution centers, protocols, etc. It’s doable, but it takes time.
One other thing to remember: The FDA is deciding whether to approve these vaccines for use on adults, not children. That’s the normal process. Drug makers don’t test new drugs on children right away. They have to test adults first before moving on to those younger than 18. Moderna just this week announced it would begin trials on 3,000 children between the ages of 12 and 17, The New York Times reports. So even if the FDA approves the vaccines for adults, it will still probably be months before the vaccines are approved for use in children.
I’m not trying to discourage anyone here. I just want to make sure we’re all being realistic with our expectations. If these vaccines are approved, it will be an amazing step toward ending the pandemic. The fact that we have these ready for FDA review so quickly and that both have shown to be so effective against COVID-19 in trials is a true testament to the abilities of our scientific and medical communities.
But we’re not there yet. We have that aforementioned light at the end of the tunnel, but we’re not out of it. There’s still more to go, and we can’t get sloppy. We’re already seeing too many new infections each day in every state. That means continuing to follow the advice of medical professionals about social distancing, wearing masks and washing our hands, both in our personal and professional lives.
The hotel industry needs people to feel comfortable traveling and staying in hotels again. One successful vaccine could do that, and we have two under review now. We will get there, and we must do all that we can to make sure as many people as possible are still around to see it happen.
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