During a live press conference yesterday, NY Governor Andrew Cuomo, also the current head of the National Governors Association, addressed several concerns that state governments have regarding the administration of the upcoming Covid vaccines.
Cuomo summarized that there would be expectation of two doses of the vaccine and that governors were informed that there would be various forms.
According to Cuomo, many governors are apprehensive about the massive responsibility that comes with adequate execution, particularly if the federal government fails to take an active role.
On the NGA website, a list of questions has been revealed to the public that has also been sent to the White House for clarification. Some key questions surrounding uncertainty are:
how to keep large quantities of the vaccine refrigerated
how to handle distribution and requirements for government employees and assisted living facilities
division of cost between state and federal governments as well as insurance companies
priority of distribution among social and economic groups
how will tribal sovereignty be addressed
Some questions that I have that should be added to the list are how noncompliance will be handled, will children be obligated to take this vaccine as well, and what plans will be in place for those who have negative reactions to the vaccine?
This country still struggles with people who do not want to wear a mask when surrounded by others in large groups, which is a completely different issue than being injected with a new drug.
At least two vaccine trials have had to be halted due to negative side effects some test subjects have had. Furthermore, citizens who have been wearing masks and have not had Coronavirus will likely not want to chance injecting a form of it in order to develop immunity.
Will those who already have compromised immune systems due to cancers or other organ failures, or are already on other drug combinations have the option of forgoing the vaccine?
If someone does get weaker due to being vaccinated, whether temporarily or long-term, what protections will they have in place regarding work, expenses, and medical care?
While I do believe an efficient vaccine could potentially save many lives, a rushed vaccine without enough variables tested could possibly do the opposite. There would need to be strong consensus of the safety of the vaccine before the public is going to trust taking it and any health officials trust giving it.
During Cuomo's press conference, he reiterated that getting the details right were critical to "life and death" and that the federal and state governments need to "answer the questions before we begin the journey."
Regardless of what party you side with or whether you believe that Coronavirus is a real threat, if the federal government is going to mandate taking a new vaccine, wouldn't you want answers first, too?