One question on everyone’s mind in recent weeks is, “Can everyone who wants a vaccine by May 2021 realistically get one?” President Joseph R. Biden seems to think so. In a recent statement, Biden said, “We’re now on track to have enough vaccine supply for every adult in America by the end of May.” He later went on to mention that this vaccine supply includes the 2-shot Pfizer vaccine, the 2-shot Moderna vaccine, and the newer, single-shot Johnson & Johnson (J&J) vaccine.
On Thursday, March 25, 2021, President Biden’s promise of 100 million vaccines in 100 days was successfully fulfilled: the latest statistics show increasing vaccination numbers by the day. In fact, new data suggests a potential 200 million vaccines in Biden’s first 100 days, although this may be a bit exaggerated.
Those in Group 1A are still in the process of getting their vaccinations …Individuals who fall under the Group 1A category include senior citizens, as well as essential workers, such as nurses and doctors who work on the frontlines. Teacher vaccinations have been initiated, indicating an uptick in vaccination distribution in recent weeks. Teachers are part of Group 1B, which includes those who have high health risks from ages 16-64+ and additional frontline workers (firefighters, police officers, and health inspectors). Group 1C includes any doctor or other frontline worker who has yet to receive the vaccine, in addition to those who work every day and spend vast amounts of time working closely with others). Check out https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/vaccines/recommendations.html for further information on these specific group categories.
Although the Biden Administration is hopeful that the entire US (excluding those under 16 due to vaccine age restrictions) will be vaccinated by May, is this wishful thinking? Unfortunately, states across the country still have consistently had vaccine shortages during the past month, despite the drastic increase in vaccine production and vaccines injected into arms.
In Montgomery County, vaccines are quite scarce. The county has not been receiving vaccine shipments as they should be, thus becoming an issue for those in Group 1A getting vaccinated after waiting over a month. Based on this trend of non-vaccinations, one may presume that the US as a whole (including Groups 1A, 1B, and 1C) will not be vaccinated by May. A recent article from 6abc states, “… in Montgomery County, a spokeswoman says starting Tuesday [March 23, 2021], they will receive 5,850 doses each week for the next four weeks, a slight increase from the 4,680 they were receiving. They expect four to five months before all those in 1A are vaccinated.” Evidently, not all residents that reside in Montco and are in Group 1A have been vaccinated, although many teachers at UMASD have. On Saturday, March 13, 2021, the Upper Merion Area School District successfully secured roughly 260 J&J vaccines for teachers who are not part of Group 1A.
Summing up, more vaccines need to be created and distributed nation-wide, as well as in Montgomery County. We’re lucky to have so many UMASD teachers vaccinated already, and we hope that more vaccinations for those over 16 years of age will be on the way — stay healthy!