As 2021 and COVID-19 continue, the want and impatience to be vaccinated only worsens. Iowa has been rolling out vaccines since around December 2020, starting with high-priority people at risk. The manufacturing of vaccines has been ramped up this year across America and with trials to vaccinate all ages and choices of the brand of vaccine, normalcy may be closer and more achievable than it ever has before. Governor Kim Reynolds says that April 5th vaccines could be open and available to all Iowans — not just the immunocompromised or high priority residents. According to the Des Moines Register, national projections show 20-29 million vaccine doses (including Johnson & Johnson) will be distributed weekly starting in April. Iowa can expect to receive anywhere from 200k to 290k doses, which is enough for 10% to 15% of the state’s adult population. Federal officials have approved the Pfizer vaccine for Americans 16 and up, with Moderna, Johnson & Johnson, and other vaccine alternatives cleared for adults 18+. Experts say that younger children could be eligible in the fall. This all depends on the supply, as emphasized by Governor Reynolds. It’s expected that students at ADM 16+ and 18+ can expect an available vaccine by this summer.
“I believe that getting the vaccine is safe and effective — up to 95% efficacy after your second dose. A lot of Americans and people around the world are ready to see some normalcy again, including students in your high school: to be able to have sports, social gatherings, and to be able to visit family. We are on a faster track to getting back to the way things were before 2020.” – Pharmacist Jedidiah Bartlett on ADM students getting vaccinated.
In my opinion, the COVID-19 vaccine is our only shot of having things go back to normal — even the possibility of a maskless senior year for current juniors. It has been over a year, and it is clear that “giving it time” or “going back to normal anyway” is not a solution (note the spike in COVID cases after Thanksgiving gatherings and Christmas). The concern with COVID at ADM, with younger and healthy students, is the transmission. As it is well known by now, people with prior conditions and the elderly are at a higher risk for COVID, with very real concerns it could kill them. COVID-19 has a lower mortality rate than the flu but has proved to be more contagious — meaning you could be someone that spreads it to someone’s loved one at risk, they could get COVID-19, leaving them with the risk of death. The best way to get our lives back and have COVID be history and something non-threatening and life-altering like the flu is to get vaccinated when you have the chance.
To learn more about vaccine availability and eligibility, click here.