COVID-19 Vaccine Looms as Virus Spread Hits Record Levels

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Some ampoules with clear liquid. The vials contain Covid-19 vaccine. The vials are placed in a laboratory against a blue background

The Center for Disease Control (CDC) announced this week how the COVID-19 vaccine should be allocated indicating that 20 million doses will be available in December. The CDC Board of Advisors recommended that priority should first be given to health care workers and next to residents of long-term care facilities that house the individuals most vulnerable to the virus. It is important to note that vaccine allocation is important because the 20 million doses that will be available in December will not satisfy the nation’s 21 million health care workers or the three million residents of long-term care facilities.

COVID-19 vaccine news comes at a time when Gov. Gavin Newsom suggested Monday a new statewide stay-at-home order could be in store in coming days amid an end-of-year coronavirus surge that could rapidly fill the state’s hospitals. He predicted that hundreds of thousands of vaccines will be in California by mid-December and he also     announced that new funds to help businesses are coming. Since about 12 percent of the new California cases that were contracted over Thanksgiving required hospitalization, the governor announced that barring a huge shift in collective behavior, the state could see an increase, just in hospitalizations, two-to-three times greater than the current census in just one calendar month. Southern California beds are already 66 percent occupied and could be 79% full by Christmas Eve.

The vaccines that will be available have experienced some controversy.

According to the PEW Research Center the U.S. Public is not divided over whether to get COVID-19Vaccine.

Inglewood business owner and professional massage therapist Lara Moore said, “hell no, I am not going to get a COVID-19 vaccine because not enough time and research has been completed to ensure the vaccine’s efficacy. On the other hand Inglewood Electrician Tyrone Robinson said, “I will take the vaccine because too many people have already died as a result of COVID-19 and it is only a matter of time before anyone may catch the virus. Also if you do not get the vaccine you will not be permitted to fly on an airplane and there may be other restrictions.  Finally,” he added, “I do not want to die because the republicans are floating a conspiracy theory that the virus is a hoax.”

About half of U.S. adults (51%) now say they would definitely or probably get a vaccine to prevent COVID-19 if it were available today; nearly as many (49%) say they definitely or probably would not get vaccinated at this time. Intent to get a COVID-19 vaccine has fallen from 72% in May, a 21 percentage point drop.

There are widespread public concerns about aspects of the vaccine development process. On the heels of a pledge from nine pharmaceutical companies to ensure that a potential vaccine would meet rigorous standards, the Center survey finds three-quarters of Americans (77%) think it’s very or somewhat likely a COVID-19 vaccine will be approved in the United States before its safety and effectiveness are fully understood. And when asked about the pace of the vaccine approval process, 78% say their greater concern is that it will move too fast, without fully establishing safety and effectiveness, compared with just 20% who are more concerned approval

will move too slowly, creating unnecessary delays. There are also concerns over side effects, how the vaccine works and how much individuals would have to pay for the vaccine – even though President-elect Joe Biden has announced that the vaccine will be free.

Oscar Mairena, manager of Inglewood’s busiest 7-11 convenience store on Manchester Boulevard said, “Yes, I will get the vaccine and I urge others to do the same. We need to get back to normal. My store has experienced a loss of about 20 percent of our monthly sales volume since March.” Phil Hernandez, Inglewood resident and college student said, “I am not sure about the vaccine and doubt that I will get it. Not enough research has been done to guarantee its safety and effectiveness.”

California is expecting 327,000 doses of the initial Pfizer COVID-19 shot in mid-December with second doses to follow, Newsom said. A more detailed vaccine distribution plan, including who will be prioritized for inoculation, will be unveiled this week.

California is also gearing up to pump more money into California’s pandemic-stricken economy with a new round of tax credits and grants. Small businesses that have collected and owe the state up to $1 million in sales taxes can keep the money, for now, while larger companies with more than $5 million in taxable sales can fill out a form for a deferral.

Similar aid is expanding to hard-hit sectors such as restaurants, bars, hair salons and others in hospitality.

The state will also provide $500 million in relief funds via grants of up to $25,000 to small businesses, nonprofits and cultural centers.

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