People are getting vaccinated around the world for COVID-19, especially in advanced countries. Israel has vaccinated a larger percentage of its population, more than half now, than any other country. Israel has had the most aggressive vaccination plan of any country even though ultra-Orthodox Jews have been very resistant to being vaccinated.
Part of Israel’s progress has to do with the price national governments have paid to get the vaccination material. In the free world, Israel agreed in the very beginning to pay the most of any country to ensure that it would get the vaccination vials early. On average, Israel is paying $25 per vaccination; the U.S. is paying $20 per vaccination; and Europe is paying $15-19 per vaccination.
The price for vaccinations has affected how soon they are delivered. The higher the price, the sooner the vials are delivered. As a result, Israel has the largest percentage of people vaccinated and Europe has a low percentage, that is, among advanced nations. Experts say Europe was foolish in trying to negotiate such low prices.
Some American pharmaceuticals have vaccines that require only one shot, such as Johnson and Johnson. Pfizer and Moderna have a vaccine that requires two shots. I got my second Moderna shot ten days ago. I never felt anything or had any reaction afterwards except, if I pushed hard on the place in my tricep where I was shot, I could barely feel it. Yet, skepticism about the vaccines is problematic.
Polls are being taken around the world to learn about skepticism in taking vaccinations for COVID-19. People are being asked if they will take the shot if it is being proved “safe and effective.” China may have the least skepticism toward the vaccines as any nation. About 90% of Chinese say they will get the shot or shots. About 75 of Americans say they will take the shot or have already had the shot. About 65% of Europeans say they will take the shot. France is about 65%, and Poland is 55%. This seems to reflect whether or not people trust their government and health authorities.
About 50% of Americans who claim to be Republican in their political persuasion say they will take the shot, thus 50% say they will not take it. That could affect our government’s effort to try achieve “herd immunity.” The purpose of the vaccine is to produce antibodies that fight off the disease, called COVID-19. If people get the disease, that also creates antibodies. If enough people have antibodies to resist the disease, and thereby become immune to it so that it cannot make them ill, that is called “herd immunity.”
Health authorities say that 70-80% of a nation’s people need to develop antibodies to to the disease in order for the nation to achieve herd immunity. That way, the other people in the nation who do not have such antibodies, the remaining 20-30%, are quite unlikely to contract the disease. When that happens, it becomes somewhat unnecessary to continue giving the vaccinations. However, this coronavirus may turn out to be like the annual flu season, in which people will need to get an annual COIVD vaccination just like they get an annual flu shot.
Dr. Anthony Fauci, who is now President Joe Biden’s chief advisor about COVID-19, said recently that the high percentage of Republicans who say they will not get the COVID-19 vaccination could prevent the U.S. from achieving herd immunity. He therefore called on ex-president Donald Trump to make an announcement advising his Republican supporters to get the vaccination.
That is a problem. Trump made this disease political. He downplayed it and finally ignored it while still president. His health advisors put out guidelines, such as wearing a mask in public and doing social distancing (six feet away from other people). But Trump himself refused to follow the guidelines, even sometimes mocking people who wore masks. It was an astonishing phenomena to see a president thumbing his nose at health authority advise when hundreds of thousands of Americans were dying from this disease that could be contained somewhat by following these health guidelines.
President Trump and his wife Melania got the vaccinations in January. Yet they never told the public they did. That is unconscionable! If Trump refused to tell people he got the shot, it is unlikely he will follow Fauci’s call for Trump to tell his Republican supporters to get the shot. Trump’s failure as president regarding this pandemic is still happening. He could help the U.S. achieve herd immunity to it, but it appears he won’t.
One reason is that President Trump constantly spoke derogatorily of Dr. Fauci, so that so many Republicans now do the same. I hear it every once in a while from people, even my friends and relatives. They hate Dr. Fauci, yet his peers speak very highly of him. All of this is because of Donald Trump. He’s not our president any more, thank God, yet he’s still doing the opposite of Making America Great Again.