It had been months of staying home, the constant feeling of isolation haunting us all, and the dreaded blue computer screens that never seemed to leave our memories. That is, until late 2020 when news that the COVID-19 Vaccine would be spreading not only immunizations, but a new beginning for all. Now, more and more people have been vaccinated, and soon enough, people as young as 16 years of age will be able to receive the vaccine.
The first companies that had their vaccines approved by the FDA were Pfizer, Moderna, as well as BioNTech companies. Phase 3 trials were ending around mid November, clearing the way for it to be distributed across the globe. It took around eight months for the vaccine to be established, making its arrival a long awaited sign of relief. In the United States, an ICU nurse in New York was the first person to receive the COVID-19 vaccine and was immunized on the morning of December 14th, 2020.
The lineup for vaccine distribution started with critical health care workers, the elderly, and those with severe underlying health conditions. Vaccines were rolling out from Pfizer and BioNTech starting shortly after the first vaccination in December. Since then, 15% (about 51 million) of Americans have been fully vaccinated, receiving both doses, according to the CDC. Recently, people in younger populations — such as millennials — have been eligible for their vaccinations, but in more recent news, teenagers as old as 16 also are qualified to be immunized. The Biden Administration originally had set a goal of having 100 million vaccinated 100 days into President Joe Biden’s presidency. They have since surpassed this goal, and have bumped it up to 200 million in 100 days. We’ve come a long way to say the least.
With the vaccines, more opportunities are available for Americans. It is likely that once most of the population becomes vaccinated, we can make more movement in going back to normalcy. Things like being able to sit in a classroom, or be able to wave to someone in person and not through a screen, things we all took for granted. Countries such as Hawaii, Iceland, Thailand, Poland, and just a few examples of the places you can visit if fully vaccinated. But beyond travel, maybe we can all start seeing each other once again?
Don’t we all just remember the beginning days of the pandemic? The days when we thought our “extended” spring break was just that and not a worldwide year long disaster. Back then, we could’ve only dreamed that we would end up where we are now, even if life is not 100% normal yet. While more vaccines start to distribute, I can only encourage you to keep staying positive, and stay healthy. At this rate, we’ll all be immunized in no time!