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When Murphy Meets the Covid Vaccine

What could possibly go wrong with the massive covid vaccination rollout, and buncha What Ifs? Let’s be optimistic and assume that the vaccinations — how many are there now, five? — are effective and relatively safe. But how long is a vaccinated person immune? People are already speculating about the relatively high percentage of people who range from hesitant to refusing to take it. 

Then you have the stringent requirements of keeping the vaccine refrigerated during wholesale shipping and retail-medical delivery. Nobody is saying what happens if a patient gets a vaccine that wasn’t kept properly frigid. What happens if a recipient of a vaccine then gets covid? Does the vaccination exercise get put on hold? Would a vaccinated person assume they’re immune and then stop taking precautions? What if someone gets the vaccine but it’s then discovered that someone caught covid from them, or may have? 

At least one of the vaccines requires two shots with weeks between them. What if someone only gets one shot and somehow doesn’t get the other? Do they need to start over? When?

We’ve talked before about the cost — will cost play into the distribution of the vaccine? What if there are delays in vaccinations and someone who was supposed to get vaccinated doesn’t? Will senior members of the Biden administration and members of Congress take the vaccine to demonstrate the safety of it? What if the vaccine has a negative interaction with another drug someone is taking? Allergies? Is the entire process and the individuals involved indemnified from lawsuits, or just the Big Pharma outfits? 

If you’re giving out hundreds of thousands if not millions of vaccines what are the odds that mistakes will be made? We already know that hospitals make mistakes with medications a certain worrisome percentage of the time; wouldn’t we expect at least that level of mistakes with covid vaccinations, probably more since it’s uncharted water? What if an untrained person administers the vaccine? How do vaccinated persons know they got an effective dose?

What if the known “relatively mild” side effects are bad for some recipients, and who pays for their treatment if they need it? Who’s keeping track of who gets which vaccine and who hasn’t? If you get one brand of vaccine, are you prohibited from getting another? Will deliveries be problem free? Will there be thefts? (We understand they’ve at least taken some “security” precautions because of the value of the shipments.) Will a black market or fake vaccines or other scams appear? 

What about vaccinations in special circumstances, like jail/prison? Hospital patients and people recovering from covid? Nursing homes? Immigrants? Drug addicts? Other demographics? Young children? Pregnant women? School settings and schools possibly requiring vaccination before allowing a student to attend? What if certain ethnicities feel like they’re not getting the same attention as others? 

Will the rollout of the vaccine mean that some people will stop taking precautions? What if the organizers of some activities — sports, entertainment, etc. — require proof of vaccination before participation so they can get back to “normal”? Will people need covid vaccination IDs or other forms of proof? Will there be counterfeit records sold?

Murphy may be seen as an optimist once the vaccination process gets underway. Why haven’t we been told more about the steps being taken to address these possible problems? 

There's a lotta What Ifs that need to be answered. These are just a few off the top of my head — and I haven’t even considered Florida.

One Comment

  1. Zeke Krahlin December 3, 2020

    Excellent exposition of “what ifs.” We are a crippled nation.

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