April 7, 2021

it's a race

Seattle is number one again, at least when it comes to wanting to get a COVID-19 vaccination. That is good news for our city and our citizens who have done so well in this pandemic with mask wearing and distancing. We still have the lowest rate of infections for a big city, which I am proud of. This clamoring for a vaccine does put a strain on supply, which can be frustrating for people. Access has eased up as more pharmacies get supplies of vaccines and the mass vaccination sites improve their flow. Outreach is ongoing to reach the underserved, as well.

Also good news that vaccine hesitancy is dropping across the country as people see how safe they are and they start to see the benefits, like being able to travel again or visit indoors with other fully vaccinated folks.

But the vaccines are in a race with the new variants. This is an excellent article that explains how the mutations happen and also how scientists are working to decode the new ones. The variants are concerning including the B.1.1.7 UK variant that seems to infect children more readily than the “wild type” virus that spread before.

The numbers of new infections each day is no longer dropping, but rising. due to the variants as well as relaxation of guidelines and pandemic fatigue. An outbreak of 46 cases of COVID-19 are linked to a bar opening in rural Illinois in February. Some states have more infections than others-.right now nearly half of new cases are in just 5 states and there is a new worrisome spike in the mid-west increasing concern that a fourth wave has begun.

Being fully vaccinated still works to prevent serious illness and death, even with the new variants, at least for now. The faster we get people immunized, the faster we can open up safely. President Biden has worked to get enough doses available for all adults in the US. Now we just need to get the shots into arms.

Wash your hands, cover your nose, keep safe six, and get a vaccine. Doesn’t matter which one.

And finally, my caveat is that this is my experience and my opinions, which are subject to change as more information is available, and not related to the organization I work for. Thanks for reading.