Is America Ready for a Vaccine?

As of now, there is not currently a vaccine for COVID19 and the race to obtain a vaccine is causing uncertainty for the American public.

The Janssen Pharmaceutical Companies of Johnson & Johnson developed an investigational vaccine and was leading the clinical trial as regulatory sponsor. The trial was designed to evaluate if the investigational COVID-19 vaccine can prevent symptomatic COVID-19 after a single dose regimen. Up to 60,000 volunteers were enrolled in the trial at up to nearly 215 clinical research sites in the United States and internationally.

However, the Johnson & Johnson Covid-19 vaccine study was paused due to unexplained illness in a participant. 

Despite this setback, Operation Warp Speed has been working since the pandemic started to make a COVID-19 vaccine(s). OWP is hoping to obtain a vaccine as soon as possible by backing vaccine candidates with government support. 

Health and Human Services Policy Deputy Chief of Staff, Paul Mango said, “We’re very, very pleased with where we are.” Mango reminded reporters that four of the six vaccine candidates are in phase III clinical trials, and added that the Food and Drug Administration continues to review vaccine safety information on the candidates.

However, some may not believe that there is not enough progress or precautions in place.  

Office assistant at the Southeastern Louisiana University’s Health Center Lauryn Bonvillian said, “I won’t feel comfortable when it does come out because it’s brand new, so I probably won’t get”.  Bonvillian said her friends also feel the same as they talk about the subject often and believe that it would not be fair to impose the vaccine on people who are on the fence. 

Others simply oppose the idea of hastily obtaining a vaccine in the fashion that Operation Warp Speed is undertaking. 

Makayla Taylor, a Southeastern Louisiana University Senior majoring in Biological Sciences said, “No, I will not be taking it due to the lack of testing and rushing. It’s not ready to be used.”  

Bonvilian and Taylor are a part of a fairly large group of people who are not intrigued by the idea of the a new COVID19 vaccine. 

According to the University of Minnesota, in the latest poll from the Pew Research Center which surveyed more than 10,000 US adults from Sep 8 to Sep 13, about half (51%) say they would definitely or probably get a COVID-19 vaccine if it were available today. When Pew conducted the same poll in late April and early May, 72% said they would get a COVID-19 vaccine when it became available.

America’s mixed feeling on a new COVID19 vaccine could possibly be a result of failed leadership in the White House. President Trump’s handling of the Covid19 pandemic has damaged the trust that he has with the American public. According to Monmouth University, the public confidence in the federal response to the coronavirus outbreak has dipped and most Americans say that Washington is not doing enough to help the states hit hard by this pandemic.

According to a blog post from Marc Hetherington and Jonathan M. Ladd, Trump has gutted scientific expertise and administrative capacity in the executive branch, most notably failing to fill hundreds of vacancies in the Centers for Disease Control itself and disbanding the National Security Council’s task force on pandemics.

Still, President Trump has released his detailed distribution strategy for the COVID vaccine which will be based on medical priorities.  

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