COVID-19 Vaccine Rollout in the United States


Emilie Matthews, Co-Managing Editor

March 13, 2020, was the day that life in the United States changed. For months, the COVID-19 Pandemic has affected the lives of everyone in the U.S., but one year after the first lockdown, there is hope that life will once again be normal. 

In December of 2020, the first COVID-19 vaccines were distributed. A new year was about to begin and the United States had surpassed 300,000 virus-related deaths. Now nearly four months later, the death toll has risen to over half a million and according to the Center Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), over 93 million people have received one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, and more than 51 million people are fully vaccinated. The CDC has also approved the Johnson and Johnson COVID-19 vaccine, a highly effective, one-shot vaccine. On March 2, 2021, President Joe Biden stated, “We should all be encouraged by this news of a third safe and highly effective COVID-19 vaccine.  The more people who get vaccinated, the faster we’re going to overcome this virus and get back to our loved ones, get our economy back on track, and start to move back to normal.”  

At the beginning of his presidency, Joe Biden promised to administer 100 million vaccine shots within his first 100 days, instead, meeting this goal within his first 60 days in office. President Joe Biden now has a new goal of reaching 200 million doses by the end of his first 100 days, and with an average of 2.5 million doses given out each day, it is highly likely that this goal will be met. It is expected that 200 million doses will be administered by April 23, roughly one week before Biden’s 100 days is up. “I know it’s ambitious — twice our original goal — but no other country in the world has come close … to what we’re doing,” President Joe Biden told reporters. The Federal Government has deals with Moderna, Pfizer, and Johnson and Johnson (J & J), expecting 200 million doses from J & J and a combined 600 million doses from Moderna and Pfizer. 

As more people get vaccinated, one main question arises – when will things return to normal? According to the Cleveland Clinic, roughly 50-80% of the population needs to be fully vaccinated in order to reach herd immunity, but until then, those who are vaccinated are able to experience some normality. The CDC recently stated that fully-vaccinated people are able to be in the same room, without masks on, with other fully-vaccinated people. So for some groups of friends and family members, this is highly anticipated and welcomed news.

The only way that life can return to normal, or as close to normal as possible, is by getting the vaccine. After April 3rd, anyone over the age of 16 in Colorado is eligible to receive the vaccine and a new study found that the Pfizer vaccine was 100% effective in teenagers 12-15 years old. In order to protect yourself and others, as well as return to a somewhat normal life, get the vaccine as soon as possible.