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The vaccine is still out of reach for many

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I was so excited to get the vaccine when it was announced that I was eligible. As someone who deals with Multiple Sclerosis, I realized just how important this vaccine was and still is.

Of course I did my research on the vaccines and the research assured me that I would be fine. Here I am, having received both doses of the Moderna vaccine, I am still healthy and happy. At no point from the beginning of the pandemic until now did I ever contract or transmit COVID-19. And believe me, I certainly had some close calls.

After getting vaccinated in March and April, all I could think about was how normal my life would be again following a year of wearing a mask constantly and social distancing. I started telling my friends who hadn’t been vaccinated, including those that have refused. Many of them, however, have ended up getting one of the three vaccines available.

It turns out the few people I know of aren’t getting any one of the vaccines. They also hold no college degrees and are less likely to be vaccinated than people with college degrees, according to a recent New York Times article that released earlier this month.

According to the same article, most Americans who are dealing with demanding jobs and family obligations have a harder time getting to vaccine sites.

Roughly half of those mentioned in the article are making $50,000 a year, while up to 30% make between $50,000 and $100,000 annually. Many others don’t have a doctor or are socially isolated, according to Justin Feldman, a social epidemiologist at Harvard.

According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention at the time of this post, nearly 136 million Americans are fully vaccinated against Covid-19 with nearly 168 million receiving at least dose nationwide. That comes out to more than half the total U.S. population having been administered the vaccine as a whole.

One of the biggest goals the White House has been focused on since President Biden took office is expanding accessibility to all Americans, including children. According to Moderna, the vaccine is not yet authorized for use in people younger than 18 and the company has stated that it plans to “submit the results to the US Food and Drug Administration in early June along with a request for authorization to use the vaccine in adolescents,” according to a recent CNN report.

But realizing the complexities in the times we face, there is also a major language barrier among many communities and multilingual vaccine information needs to become more available than it already is. Even more so, people with disabilities have also had a hard time accessing vaccines, according to a report released the Health and Human Services Office for Civil Rights.

According to the report, “the CDC recommended in December 2020 that states prioritize older adults and people with underlying health conditions to get vaccinated and has published resources to support state vaccination efforts for these populations” and goes on to say that “many states are still struggling to vaccinate older adults and people with disabilities.”

Employers can also play a role in getting people vaccinated. Employers can help to arrange on-site vaccination for employees or even help with transportation to a doctor or vaccine site. Employers would also be wise to offer paid time off to allow employees to get vaccinated or even to allow recovery time from side effects.

We all can play a role in making sure everyone is vaccinated. We should continue to encourage friends and family and those in the community to still wear a mask when appropriate, whether on public transit or at a store or restaurant.

We can and we should do better. Health and safety is still a major priority.

Let us not forget that the only way to beat this pandemic is to get vaccinated.

Thomas Lineweaver
Thomas Lineweaverhttps://tommyclineweaver.com
Thomas Lineweaver is a real likable guy with a passion for technology, design, music, and helping mankind. He is an accomplished journalist, writer, and podcaster since 2012. He currently resides in Nashville, TN with his husband Michael.

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