Referred to as the ‘biggest vaccination campaign in history’ by Bloomberg, the rollout of the coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccine is well and truly underway worldwide - with estimates reporting that around 173 million doses have been administered across the globe .
As we come to terms with this welcome news that normality may be within reach, questions still remain surrounding the battle of this virus. This includes understanding the state of the virus today, the logistical obstacles of deploying the vaccine to millions of Americans, and why following the recommended health and safety regulations is still as important as ever.
The state of COVID-19 today
COVID-19 has undoubtedly had a significant impact on health and new strains of the virus continue to emerge around the globe. In December 2020, the United Kingdom reported to the World Health Organization (WHO) a variant of the virus. Following this, national authorities in South Africa announced the detection of another strain. And in January 2021, another variant was identified in travelers from Brazil. Each of these new strains has reached the United States .
While the overall case count is down in the U.S (as of February 3, 2021), hospitalizations have plateaued. In fact, over the past months, the overall weekly hospitalization rate has remained at an elevated plateau above earlier peaks in the pandemic (data as of January 23, 2021).
Distribution of vaccines
52.9 million vaccinations have been administered in the United States, according to the most recent numbers from the CDC. This is estimated to be around 1,688,813 vaccinations per day. 
Although the U.S government has begun to encourage states to provide vaccinations to those aged 65 and older and those with certain medical conditions, the uncertainty surrounding the vaccine still remains. In a Kaiser Family Foundation survey, 55% of Americans didn’t know where they would receive a vaccine, and 60% didn’t know when. 
Further organization and more understanding are on the horizon though, with businesses such as Starbucks and Microsoft providing logistical expertise and manpower to help expedite the distribution effort. The new administration is also working to provide more transparency around availability, with a statement on February 2, 2021, indicating that states will receive a 5% supply increase and confirming that Americans will soon have easier access to vaccinations through local pharmacies. 
The need for continued testing
The need for continuous and rigorous compliance with public health strategies that we are all now thoroughly familiar with is still essential to limiting the spread. John Hopkins Medicine notes that it will take some time for everyone to get vaccinated and that although the vaccine might have the power to prevent you from getting sick - it’s still not known for certain whether you can still carry and transmit the virus .
At the time of writing, two vaccines have been authorized and recommended to help stop the spread of COVID-19, these are the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine and the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine. While both are over 90% effective when both doses are taken within the appropriate time frame, it’s believed that as many as 30% of the patients who get the first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine may not return for a second. 
With all of the above in mind, the best way to ensure the safety of our employees, customers, and ourselves, is to continue to follow the CDC recommendations, some of these include:
- Wear a mask
- Wash hands often
- Cover coughs and sneezes
- Practice social distancing
- Monitor your health daily
- Get tested if you have symptoms or are a close contact of someone who has tested positive for the virus
To get closer to a ‘normal’ world, we must remain vigilant with following safety guidelines and continuous testing.
LetsGetChecked’s COVID-19 corporate testing solution is already being used by numerous well-respected organizations to help ensure both employers and employees remain safe and healthy.
Interested in finding out more? The process is simple:
- Fill out our Coronavirus tests for organizations form
- Provide us with some detail about your organization and your testing requirements
- Our team will get in touch to help customize a testing plan that’s the right fit for you, and your employees, team, faculty, or crew
- Bloomberg. Covid-19 Vaccine Tracker. Online: Bloomberg.com
- World Health Organization. SARS-CoV-2 Variants. Online: Who.int
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. COVID Data Tracker. Online: Cdc.gov
- KHN. Big Business Boosts Vaccine Effort, but It’s ‘Complex Choreography’ to Get Shots in Arms. Online: KHN.org
- The White House. FACT SHEET: President Biden Announces Increased Vaccine Supply, Initial Launch of the Federal Retail Pharmacy Program, and Expansion of FEMA Reimbursement to States. Online: Whitehouse.gov
- John Hopkins Medicine. COVID-19 Vaccine: What You Need to Know. Online: Hopkinsmedicine.org
- CBS. Second shot no-shows could undermine efforts. Online: Cbsnews.com
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. New Variants of the Virus. Online: Cdc.gov