The Vaccine is Here – Part II

This is exciting stuff .. Granted, many of us are still 8-12 months from inoculation, having a solution that can be adopted is solid progress.

Again: thank you to the current administration for moving this along as I mention in The Vaccine is Here. Prompt action and amazing funding has gotten us to the point where we have a durable, science-based solution. While we still have issues with distribution .. having the solution (no pun intended) is a solid place to start.

With that said, the current administration is under a fair bit of fire for their actions .. or lack thereof. On the vaccine front, they deserve top marks. On the logistical front, not so much.

So .. let’s catch up (more so myself than you) after the first few weeks of inoculations (I’m not a Doctor ..):

  • The first doses were administered to healthcare workers and the most vulnerable in a wide number of markets.
  • Some states looked at healthcare workers and first responders.
  • No serious side effects thus far (the UK had some allergy-based reactions they managed handsomely) .. there were a few other allergic reactions reported in Alaska. All were handled routinely.
  • Side effect include: soreness at the injection site, some fatigue, low-grade fever. The latter two demonstrate the vaccine is working .. can be addressed by relaxing and taking an aspirin.
  • There’s still a fair bit of vaccine fear and doubt out there .. But we’re setting positive examples to raise awareness of the facts, and to let the public know that the vaccine is safe.

So, some fun facts for review:

  • Unlike other vaccines, you are not getting a weakened dose of COVID-19 (as with other vaccines).
  • You cannot catch the virus from the vaccine, because you’re not getting a weakened dose of the virus.
  • The mRNA (discussed in The Vaccine is Here) is a lot like computer code .. once a virus component is identified and sequenced, mRNA can be ‘programmed’ to effect changes to that particular bit.
  • There are two vaccines .. the first, Pfizer-BioNTech (which must be stored at sub-Arctic temperatures), and the more-recently released Moderna (standard freezer storage).
  • These two vaccines require two doses each, a few weeks apart.
  • While you do get some immunity from the first shot, we really need both.
  • Doctors suggest you prepare yourself to rest up when you get the first shot with lots of fluids, staying inside and  warm.

While we are well behind the promised 20 million vaccinations originally estimated by Operation Warp Speed, we have administered ~2 million .. and that’s incredible considering the speed at which we have identified the vaccine, mass-produced it, managed the logistical nightmare of sub-sub-sub zero temperatures, trained staff at the endpoints on how to reconstitute and administer, lined up patients, etc., etc., etc. Amazing feat, and the world thanks you.

With the good vaccine news .. we must remember are in the midst of a surge, within a surge .. Brought upon ourselves from travel and get-togethers from Thanksgiving, just as we get to the travel and get-togethers for Christmas. Did I mention New Years Eve?

The vaccine represents the Beginning of the End for COVID-19 .. but we still must remain vigilant. We must all do our part, get the vaccine when it is our turn. I recognize I won’t see it until mid-to-late-Summer 2021, as I’m not a healthcare worker, first responder, school teacher, nor do I possess any co-morbidity, have a requirement to report to a business, and so on. I’ll manage my activities and wear a mask when I go out.

So must we all. Even after being vaccinated, early research says we can still carry and even spread the virus .. which means we may infect someone else while our body manages our own infection. We must be careful.

Be smart. Be an adult. Do the right thing. Get the vaccine when it is your turn. In the interim, and once vaccinated, protect yourself and your family.

About Michael Coates
I am a pragmatic evangelist. The products, services and solutions I write about fulfill real-world expectations and use cases. I stay up-to-date on real products I use and review, and share my thoughts here. I apply the same lens when designing an architecture, product or when writing papers. I am always looking for ways that technology can create or enhance a business opportunity .. not just technology for technology's sake. My CV says: Seasoned technology executive, leveraging years of experience with enterprise and integration architectural patterns, executed with healthy doses of business acumen and pragmatism. That's me. My web site says: Technology innovations provide a myriad of opportunities for businesses. That said, having the "latest and greatest" for its own sake isn't always a recipe for success. Business successes gained through exploiting innovation relies on analysis of how the new features will enhance your business followed by effective implementation. Goals vary far and wide: streamlining operations, improving customer experience, extending brand, and many more. In all cases, you must identify and collect the metrics you can apply to measure your success. Analysis must be holistic and balanced: business and operational needs must be considered when capitalizing on a new technology asset or opportunity.

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