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Doctor Says Vaccines’ Creation “Like Putting Man on the Moon”

Senior Enlisted Advisor to the Chairman (SEAC) Ramon “CZ” Colon-Lopez receives a COVID-19 vaccine at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, Bethesda, Md., Dec. 21, 2020. (DOD Photo by Navy Petty Officer 1st Class Carlos M. Vazquez II). After a year of the vaccines, people taking stock note the people who continue to refuse them are creating a reservoir for the virus to mutate. Credit: US DOD

After exactly one year after Americans began receiving vaccines against the coronavirus, it is time to take stock and look at some sobering numbers as the death toll in the country tops 800,000.

Just one year ago, on December 14, 2020, the frenzied race to develop, test and administer the vaccine seemed to signal an end to the virus’ continuing threat to the country and the world. The public watched news reports that night showing the welcome sight of workers gingerly moving the enormous cases of vaccines that had been so carefully packed in dry ice to waiting airplanes for their transport around the world.

These exciting scenes marked the beginning of the largest vaccination campaign in American history. The vaccines that had proven to be staggeringly effective and safe in clinical trials were hoped to bring a relatively swift end to the pandemic which had brought sickness and widespread economic devastation to the globe.

Unvaccinated people create reservoir where virus allowed to thrive, mutate

But the reluctance of an appreciable part of the public to receive the inoculations has proven to be not only dangerous for them but also to have created a reservoir in which the virus is allowed to thrive and mutate, allowing additional variants to continue to form.

Now, more than 800,000 Americans are dead after suffering with the coronavirus; across the globe, 5,333,158 people have now lost their lives after being struck by the virus, according to

And that’s almost three times as many as had died by this day last year — 300,000 — when the vaccines hit the market.

No one has any way of knowing how many people living today all over the world owe their lives to having been vaccinated. It may be tens of thousands, or possibly hundreds of thousands — or even millions.

Now, as we commemorate the beginning of the triumphant rollout of the vaccines in the US, the scene is a troubling one.

And one of the largest factors in the failure of a large part of the population to receive the vaccine has been the misinformation that has circulated the globe, mostly through the internet.

Vaccines are an “astounding achievement”

National Institutes of Health Director Francis Collins told reporters from the Associated Press this week that scientists and health officials underestimated how the spread of this misinformation could limit what he called “astounding achievement” of the vaccines.

“Deaths continue … most of them unvaccinated, most of the unvaccinated because somebody somewhere fed them information that was categorically wrong and dangerous,” Collins stated.

The vaccines developed by some of the most brilliant scientists in the world, using revolutionary mRNA technology, were created and distributed nearly as fast as humanly possible; their efficacy, proving to be much higher even than the annual flu shot, is extraordinary by any measure.

Preventing death and serious illness for the most part, they have enabled life to get back to as close to normal as it was to be for some time —  until the advent of the Delta variant, which caused a fourth wave of the virus to rage across the globe. But it was and continues to be fueled by the percentage of the population in every country who refuse to be vaccinated.

The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimated that, based on available data from September, unvaccinated people are at a 14 times higher risk of dying from the coronavirus compared to those who are fully vaccinated.

The vaccines’ effectiveness has enabled schools across the world to reopen, restaurants to open their doors once again and families to gather for the holidays — not to mention getting people back to work. As of today, 98.5% of Americans 65 and older had had at least one shot.

“Putting a man on the Moon”

Dr. David Dowdy, an infectious-disease epidemiologist at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, tells the AP “In terms of scientific, public health and logistical achievements, this is in the same category as putting a man on the moon.”

Few predicted on December 14, 2020 that vaccine mandates would even be on the horizon as the majority of people waited with bated breath for their opportunity to become inoculated. The only issue was, many thought, how many people could be inoculated as quickly as possible — not how to persuade a sizable minority of the population across the globe to become vaccinated.

Now, with the pool of unvaccinated people — both those who refuse it and who have not had the opportunity to have the vaccine — serving as a reservoir for new mutations to develop, the nagging question is how can our existing vaccines defend against the mutations.

Even considering these challenges, Dowdy says in retrospect, “we’re going to look back and say the vaccines were a huge success story.”

Exactly one year ago, as impatient but grateful Americans watched those vaccine-filled cases roll onto airplanes, the U.S. death toll hit 300,000, with daily deaths at an average of more than 2,500. In addition, they were rising at that time much faster than they had done even at the beginning of the outbreak in the Spring of 2020, after many Americans had gotten together with friends and family for Thanksgiving.

Delta variant emerged just as sone were discarding precautions

Before long, the US death toll had climbed to 500,000, surmounting that milestone by the first of February; still, the number of daily deaths then began to decrease steadily after the worrying days of January, when only healthcare workers and the military had received their shots.

By March of this year, some states were reopening, doing away with mask mandates and limits on dining indoors. Former President Donald Trump assured the American public during a Fox News interview that the vaccine was safe, and urged them to become inoculated.

Still, his pleas and those of senior healthcare officials worldwide seemed to fall on deaf ears for a certain percentage of the population; by June, with the weather warming up once again, many threw caution to the wind and the demand for the miraculous vaccines lagged.

Unfortunately, that was the time that the Delta variant was forming, arriving in countries all over the globe from its probable place of origin in India. it was the wrong time to take a cavalier attitude to the virus — and an even worse one to disregard its dangers due to the misinformation that had spread like wildfire all across the world.

Andrew Noymer, a public health professor at the University of California, Irvine, told the AP “You have to be almost perfect almost all the time to beat this virus. The vaccine alone is not causing the pandemic to crash back to Earth.”

One crackpot theory that spread around the globe was that the vaccine contained microchips that would track all those who accepted vaccination. Others held that certain world leaders were trying to use the vaccines as a way to kill off people in an effort to effect population control.

Other rumors are almost too ludicrous to even be explained. All of them fed into a stew of fear and anxiety that caused many to shun the vaccines, on top of another percentage of the population that simply refused to believe an otherwise healthy person could die from the virus.

“It didn’t have to be this way”

Rachel McKibbens, who is 45, lost both her father and brother to the virus; both had refused the vaccines because they believed the conspiracy theories that said the shots were poisonous.

“What an embarrassment of a tragedy,” McKibbens said sadly, admitting “It didn’t have to be this way.”

Pointing up the problems with adults’ intake of the vaccines, over 228,500 Americans have died from the virus since April 19, the date when every single U.S. adult was eligible.

This number represents almost one third, or 29%, of the body count since the first coronavirus deaths were recorded in the US in February 2020, according to an analysis by the Associated Press.

“I see the U.S. as being in camps,” the UC’s Noymer said, adding “The vaccines have become a litmus test for trust in government.”

Marking the first anniversary of her receiving the first coronavirus shot in the world (Great Britain approved the Astra Zeneca vaccine before the US authorized the Pfizer product) a Welsh grandmother now encourages everyone to get the shot before it’s too late.

Margaret Keenan, whose photo made the rounds of the world media after the diminutive grandmother joyously received her shot in England, said “Once I got the jab, things started to get better, so I had a wonderful year. Thanks to the NHS, I’m here today.

“Everybody should have the jab,” she stated, adding “The best Christmas present I could have is being in good health.”

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