Coronavirus

We Could Wait Longer Than Expected For Vaccines

SK Ashby
Written by SK Ashby

Members of the Trump regime have insisted that the general public should be able to line up for a coronavirus vaccine by next spring, but the more we learn the less likely that appears to be.

I personally took it at face value that I may receive a vaccine by next summer, but high global demand and constraints in supplies of key ingredients combined with the Trump regime's refusal to pre-order more doses means over half the country could end up waiting significantly longer.

Politico reports that 200 million combined doses from Pfizer and Moderna -- enough doses to vaccinate about 100 million people -- are the only supplies the United States has officially secured. And that's enough to vaccinate slightly less than a third of the country, but that's all they plan to deliver over the next six months. The Trump regime is banking on vaccines from other drug companies that haven't even finished their trials yet.

The Trump administration has bought 100 million doses each of vaccines from Pfizer and Moderna, but the U.S. is unlikely to get additional doses anytime soon because of strong international demand. And both vaccines require two doses per person, effectively halving the already scarce supply. [...]

The Trump administration is not alone in assuming that all of its big vaccine bets will pay off. Several other countries’ estimates “are based on a best-case scenario,” said Krishna Udayakumar, founding director of the Duke Global Health Innovation Center, whose team has tracked global vaccine purchases. [...]

Roughly 650 million of the 1.3 billion doses Pfizer says it can make in 2021 are already spoken for, according to Udayakumar. Moderna says it can make anywhere from 500 million to 1 billion doses next year, and has already promised 380 million shots to various countries, he said.

Just delivering the doses governments have already ordered could take six months or more, Udayakumar added.

Even if we generously assume that the United States will gain access to 300 million or more doses by next summer (and that seems unlikely right now), that would still leave a little more than half of the country unvaccinated.

It would take 660 million doses to vaccine the entire population of the United States so if you're in a relatively low risk group like I am, it could still be next fall or later before we're vaccinated.

The more people we vaccinate, the fewer daily infections and deaths we'll see over time, but we're still going to face outbreaks and pockets of infections through at least the next year.

The Biden administration will have an opportunity to correct some of the wrongs of the Trump regime, but Trump's refusal to pre-order more vaccines could already be locked in to some extent. It may not ultimately take the entire next year to vaccinate everyone, but it seems impossible that it will occur as quickly Trump regime figures have promised in recent days.