Surreal: My Parents Have Been Vaccinated

Filed Under: Misc.

My gosh, I woke up yesterday morning thinking a Starlux Airlines gift would be the most exciting thing to happen. Little did I know that within 24 hours we’d go from no expectations of vaccines for our parents in the immediate future, to having all of them vaccinated. I can’t even begin to explain how elated I am.

My mom’s call yesterday morning…

Early yesterday morning my mom called to tell me that she heard on the local news that they were starting to take vaccine appointments in her area that day. I was caught off guard:

  • The whole vaccine rollout has been kind of frustrating, so I’ve been trying to keep my mind off it to avoid getting angry and frustrated; besides, my parents watch the local news, so I knew that they’d hear when it did start happening
  • I figured that appointments would be impossible to get, and that they’d be scheduled weeks out
  • My mom mentioned how the website for registering was tough to use, and how the phone number for booking an appointment had a 12 hour hold time

Suddenly my focus went from trying to get work done, to doing everything I could to get prepared to schedule their appointments. They only started taking appointments in their area at a certain time, so I spent the next couple of hours setting up accounts for everyone, doing “trial runs” of the website so that I’d be quick when the booking window opened, etc.

My dad is 75+, and his appointment slot opened at 10:30AM. I logged in online at exactly the right time, and as you’d expect, the website kept crashing. I spent 47 minutes clicking like my life depended on it, and eventually got him an appointment… for this morning!

The appointment slot for my mom and Ford’s mom opened later in the day, but at this point I knew exactly what I was doing. I used the horrible interface to my advantage (you have to click like 47 things, and I knew exactly what to select), and managed to get appointments for them within a minute of the reservations going live, using one hand for my tablet and one hand for my laptop.

I was in complete disbelief. We went from having no expectations of them getting vaccinated in the next few weeks, to having appointments for them less than 24 hours later (Ford’s mom would have to drive cross state for this, but it was oh-so-worth-it). The follow-up appointments were even scheduled at the same time.

At that point I spent the rest of the afternoon trying to get appointments for our parents’ other senior friends, with mixed luck.

At that point I broke down…

I can’t even begin to describe how overjoyed I was when I had appointments for all three of our parents confirmed. This is what we had been waiting for, and it was finally here… and just a day later.

I felt so many different emotions. At first I was shaking and jittering, due to the adrenaline of trying to get the spots. Then my head started to tingle and I started sighing in relief. And then I just broke down and cried, which I don’t often do.

Obviously coronavirus hasn’t been easy on anyone, but I’m sure I’m not alone in feeling the worst for seniors. Not only are they the most vulnerable, but they’ve also largely been the most isolated.

In the case of both of my parents:

  • My mom was diagnosed with ovarian cancer on Mother’s Day in 2019, and after enduring more than I ever could, going through 18 rounds of chemo and two surgeries, she’s in remission… and then coronavirus started
  • My dad lives alone, and has more-or-less been in isolation for 10 months, with no human contact, other than the time we’ve spent together

To say that I’m relieved and grateful for their vaccinations would be the understatement of the year. Soon (hopefully in a bit over a month, well after they get their second dose) my parents can get back some quality of life. That means more to me than anything.

The fact that I’ll be able to spend more time with them without having to worry as much as before will just be amazing. Thanks to the scientists, doctors, healthcare workers, and everyone else involved, who has made this possible. I have no words…

Bottom line

The past 24 hours has been the best couple of days I’ve had since the start of the pandemic. To go from no appointments to having our parents vaccinated in less than 24 hours is something I couldn’t have dreamed of. While there have been some challenges with the vaccine rollout, I’m eternally grateful that my parents have been vaccinated this soon.

It’s still a dark time for coronavirus, but this gives me so much hope for the future, and it brings me indescribable joy that the seniors in our family can get some quality of life back in the coming weeks, and that hopefully the mortality rate of coronavirus can start to decrease.

To seniors and those with seniors in their lives, what has your experience been with getting vaccinated? Anyone else have a complete joyous meltdown when it finally happened, either for yourself or a loved one?

  1. Mazel tov, Ben! I share your feelings every time someone in my family or social circle gets their first or second shot. There is still a long way to go but I am so happy for every life that is being saved by these shots.

  2. That is great news, Lucky! I’ve been with my (now) 80-year-old father since March. Brought him to the VA for a routine hearing exam, and they asked him if he wanted to get vaccinated – just like that. 15 minutes later he had the first dose in his arm. Tomorrow he gets his final dose, and I’m pretty sure I’m going to either cheer or cry.

  3. Great news!!! I can tell how happy you are, and it actually made me emotional for you. My mother is a senior with underlying health conditions and lives in south Florida also. She can’t get an appointment. So frustrating. Can you share the website info?

  4. I usually only read, not comment, but I am very happy to hear this. After a particularly difficult period, it’s nice to have some good news and a reminder that my mother will soon get the vaccine; she’s at high risk so it will come as a relief! Best wishes 🙂

  5. That’s great.

    I’ve been desperately trying to get for my elderly parents in Pennsylvania, but not even a hint of availability.

  6. Congratulations! Be grateful that you live in Florida which as been doing an above average job of distributing the vaccine and has a great governor who has prioritized the elderly.

  7. That’s great news Lucky. Especially in light of your mother being so high risk. Wonderful news and a great way to start off the new year.

    Now if CDC can get their act straight and add vaccinated people to the list of people that can get a waiver for traveling without taking COVID tests each time they travel.

  8. Ben: Am so happy for you and your family! Hoping that many of us can replicate this all soon and get back to some semblance of normalcy.

  9. I totally get you. My mother got the first dose of the vaccine yesterday in France (as a 50+ year old healthcare worker) and I was so relieved!


  10. Where is this Hillsborough County? My parents live part-time in Pinellas next door and my mother got a notification on her phone that she will soon be contacted about an appointment. She is only 67 and doesn’t have a major underlying condition. I knew there was an Eventbrite website people were using for a day or two that turned out to be fraudulent. Florida made the decision to go with a more generalized approach for wider but shallower vaccine distribution versus some other states that are trying to maximize the most vulnerable population. It will be interesting for sure to see how 50 different states + territories manage this roll out. Being a younger healthy person I don’t expect to get vaccinated until late spring or summer.

  11. Aw this is awesome Ben. So happy for your parents and Ford’s, it must be such an enormous relief and will make it a lot easier to visit each other. Congratulations!

  12. Great news Ben! I have been battling ovarian cancer like your mom for over 5 years! I get my vaccine tonight. Back when Covid hit I was in Hawaii (my FAV place) and I came back and my doc stopped my preventive chemo meds because he was concerned about me getting COVID with my low blood counts. Luckily my cancer hasn’t popped up again (it has twice) and having the vaccine tonight will make me feel so much safer. I have lived in fear this last year of getting covid…’s hard enough battling cancer but to think we fight so hard against cancer then COVID might get us makes the battle even harder!

    Best wishes for your mom!

  13. That’s great! My mother lives in a senior facility, is older than 75, and still hasn’t been vaccinated.

    Ben, it seems you exercised a very specific frequent flier skill here: waiting until a specific time when award seats are released, constantly refreshing your browser and then immediately pouncing on it the second you see it become available.

  14. Bravo and glad you pointed out that full protection won’t occur for another month or so (1-2 weeks after the 2nd dose).

  15. My mom got her vaccine on Saturday. Where I live is so far ahead the state may stop giving us doses to let other places catch up. We met her with flowers and had a socially distant lunch together in our cars to celebrate her first dose. It was a relief.

  16. Nay. Neither my dad who lives in a foster home nor my super high-risk mom got an appointment yet. While a German company pioneered mRNA vaccines we’re unablet to roll them out. BER all over again…

  17. This is great news!!!!! For some reason I still thought you’re in Germany but I guess you’re back in the US? Either way am glad all is working out for you and your family! 🙂

  18. I live in Idaho, and they’ve just started phase 2 of immunizations for first responders, teachers and correctional facility staff. (I qualify for that group, so I’m awaiting news on when I can get mine.) Adults 65 and older aren’t eligible here until February. They’ll open it up to some essential workers, USPS, and transit workers then. Adults with higher risk and other essential workers in March and April, and general population is expected in May.

    They are very lucky to have gotten them so soon!

  19. Great for you and your family! It’s a shame that the country is in such shambles as you have to do it this way.

  20. I got my first dose on Sat Jan 9. It was first time I was happy to be classified as elderly. You did great getting all those scheduled. I know from my own experience it is still something of a “lottery” here in Florida even for elderly.
    Another 5 -6 weeks and I should be in good shape getting out more. But I’ll still be wearing a mask and being cautious. Minor actions like this will help us all stay safe and healthy.
    Congratulations to your parents. I hope the rest of the population can get the vaccine soon.

  21. Congrats! My parents got their first shot today to. Looks like things are finally moving in the US (I assume your post is re the US, but not sure).

  22. I struggle see why seniors would be vaccinated before every healthcare worker, police officer, emergency responder, and essential retail employee. I’m happy for your folks but am frustrated that others who don’t have the luxury of isolation continue to be infected and die.

  23. Very happy for all of you…you are a great son! Perhaps now your parents can start traveling and writing reviews on your website!

  24. Congrats Ben, totally understand your feelings, emotions… my 89 y.o. Mom will get her first shot this Friday in Belgium … and I see it as a turning point, towards that end of the tunnel.
    Fingers crossed we’ll get our shot in a few months!

  25. I am very happy for the two of you. The states were your parents live must have a pretty good organization.

  26. Lucky you. Meanwhile, vaccine allocations to some states appear to have been slowed for political reasons. Texas , Florida and other red states are getting more than their fair shares, while some blue states are getting minuscule allocations that don’t begin to come close to their needs. Apparently, for some, the right to life ends at birth. Operation Warp speed has worked better for some than others.

  27. Fortunately the hospital my mom and wife (she’s considered high risk) receive their medical care at has been designated a “hub” provider by Texas, and existing patients receive priority. Mom gets hers Friday. She’s refused to lock herself up, and the county we live in has hardly been a hotbed, but it’s still a big relief for her. Probably more so for me since she does still get out and about…

  28. Congrats on getting through this frustrating piece of bureaucracy!! What an awful experience. After more web pages and phone call than I can count, I’m still not there yet. The situation here in TX is awful. Maybe I’ll get a call next week from one of the 5 entities I am listed with.

    To all who have succeeded or have parents who have succeeded, it’s a game changer.

  29. Note that the vaccine doesn’t prevent you from catching the virus, instead it just makes the symptoms near 0. The risk of transmission still exists even after a vaccine (and we still don’t know if that may send the at risk to hospital)

  30. Tell your mom that OVCA is indeed survivable these days. I am 13 years post and thriving! Glad she is doing well.

  31. Congratulation, that’s wonderful!!

    Also, @Samuel, get outtahere with that, no need to go political with this (and Trump had *nothing* to do with the development of any vaccine. Zero, zilch, nada. Stop repeating lies.).

  32. Congratulations on managing the system.

    Great to hear how well things are going for you in Florida.

    I live in BC Canada. Our wonderful PM announced in December he had ordered 40 Million doses.

    As of today we have vaccinated 69,000 or 1% but last night we ran out of vaccine. The Province has decided to delay second doses for over 35 days against advice because of lack of vaccine. Although our PM Trudeau has promised enough vaccine for everyone the delay in delivery due to poor procurement has me slated for vaccine in April at best (at 75+).

    Unfortunately truth, ethics and honesty are in short supply.

    I congratulate your government for looking after everyone as your vaccination rate is over triple Canada’s even though many complain that your previous President was unprepared.

    Good luck.

  33. Congratulations to your parents for getting vaccinated. They are so fortunate.

    We live in the suburbs of NYC. First responders were eligible on Jan. 11, but we could not get an appt for my husband. Then on Jan. 12, the age limit and eligibility were changed, and, with this expanded group of eligible people, it became a real challenge to get appointments. I was finally able to get appts. for us and my next door neighbors for early April. Hopefully the supply will come through to meet those appointments.

  34. Very glad to hear your parents got their shot(s). Hard to believe something basic/essential like vaccinations has become more of a political than a medical issue.

    How is “Waldorf” Winston doing? 🙂

  35. Glad you got to use your internet skills for Public Health purposes!

    As a Physician (got my first vaccine only last week since I don’t work in a hospital), I want to caution you and all the others who are not yet vaccinated to continue to wear masks etc when seeing your immunized friends & relatives. The science suggests that those who have been vaccinated can still get (mostly) asymptomatic infections which they could then transmit to you. Yes you are younger, healthier and much less likely to need hospitalization. I have seen dozens of such patients with symptoms, almost all say they have never been that sick before and wouldn’t wish the illness on their worst enemies. So stay safe till we all have some immunity.

  36. This is really great news and I am very happy for you.

    My parents are in Miami and both managed to get an appointment this week!

    Thank you for sharing this post.

  37. We got our shots yesterday. I was elated all day. I think I repeated myself over and over about how excited I was.

  38. It’s wonderful you were successful to obtain the Covid-19 vaccine appointments despite the terribly-frustrating roll-out system. Kudos! And, it’s so nice to hear your mom is doing well!

    Thanks for the wonderful news!

  39. Good news. Don’t forget to help them sign up for a second dose. My wife and I both got our first shots. We are first responders. Already have appointments for our second. Lucky for us we live in Alaska. Small state population wise and well organized.

  40. PA: Robin please leave your political garbage at the door. No need for that on this blog!

    She was responding to someone that was praising God-Emperor Trump for this miracle, my guy.

  41. Delighted for you and your family!

    Could you share the type of information you needed to enter for your parents? Was it just name and address or did they want something less handy like insurance info?

    My parents are both around 80 and I will likely be doing online battle to get them their vaccination appointments.

    I’m sure other readers are also in the same situation. Looking to have all the info assembled for when my state finally catches up to Florida! Thanks!

  42. That’s awesome !!! I tried several days on our local health dpt here in Florida (Pasco, Hillsborough ) and got appointments for all the seniors in my family . For those of you looking for appts in Florida follow the health dpt website daily and the large hospitals such as JMH in Miami, Orlando health , Baycare etc that have already started vaccinating seniors
    Keep in mind even if you live in one county you can receive vaccine in ANY county in Florida and snowbirds can be vaccinated as well or seniors who don’t have Florida residence can be vaccinated as well . You don’t have to prove any Florida residency to get vaccine in Florida .
    Also federally qualified health centers in Florida are starting to offer vaccines too this week so you can contact your local FQHC .

  43. @Indy Those are my thoughts exactly. Why not vaccinate the first responders and those who have to go to work such as grocery clerks first? Older folks who have the luxury of not going out getting the vaccine first is a disgrace.

  44. @ Samuel, you don’t seem to understand what “warp speed” is …. the rollout in the US has been anything but.

  45. @Romy

    As a slightly but not thoroughly snide remark is there any truth to the rumor that the US instigated covid testing for foreign visitors as a requirement in order to delay the influx of snow birds from Canada looking for quick access to the vaccine? 😉

    At the current rate of vaccination (1% for 30 days) it will take 100 months to vaccinate everyone in the BC and many States (just over 8 years). Even as a senior with potential complications I also question the priority of vaccinating the very old with life expectancy less than 5 years as the highest priority. If all their health care workers were vaccinated first then being in isolation the elders would have zero risk of contracting the virus unless visitors brought it in with them.

    When my 100 year old granny needed expensive surgery for hip replacement the family refused because there certainly were much younger people who were a higher priority and the effectiveness of the surgery would at best be minimal and very short lived.

    Vaccine priority should be highest for the people most at risk of contacting the virus – the people who keep other people healthy and keep the economy working

  46. I feel the high risk patients still have a few more months of hunkering down even after the vaccine since it doesn’t fully prevent it. Best to wait until most are vaccinated. My sister is able to schedule hers so I’ve been pushing her for that. My mom is next on the list as they’ve opened it up to 70+ plus so next is her age.

  47. Thank you for sharing your heart and emotions Lucky. My 93 year old mom just got her shot this past weekend in So Cal. The isolation has been very hard on her too so I totally relate. Here is to 2021 and resumption of travel with our families!

  48. @Jo145,

    The US with warp speed is way ahead of most countries and has already vaccinated 3 times more people per 100 compared to Canada. Only countries ahead of us are Israel, UAE, and UK

  49. Great news! I had a similar experience as Ben (Lucky). I got Grandma arranged to get her first vaccine dose through a legal method but it required a whole lot of prior planning and thought. Part of the planning is that she is not getting it in her own county. Her 2nd dose is in 2 weeks.

  50. Congratulations and very happy for you indeed! Wishing your parents an abundance of health and to be able to spend quality time with you and your family

  51. Ben, I am so happy for you and Ford and your parents. You did good for them! My 89-year-old father was just vaccinated here in Colorado.:)

  52. Good for you Ben. It’s sad, and infuriating, and frankly demeaning, that you have to go through this dog-eat-dog chaos just to know your loved ones will survive. In New South Wales we had zero cases today out of 7.5m people, with no hard lockdown since May. This isn’t to brag, or to trigger politicized arguments, but to empathize — and to recognize that good and bad governance has consequences. My seventy-something parents don’t need to scramble for a vaccine and, for that, I’m so, so grateful. Well done!

  53. Gratz. My mom is due for her second dose in one week, so I have been holding my breath until her immunity is up to its max potential. No idea when I’ll be able to get the vaccine though. Kind of stupid that I qualify for the vaccine in some states but don’t qualify for it in my home state.

  54. Ben,
    It is good news that your parents are booked in to get vaccinations. I hope it all happens as planned and that they each get both of the shots at the appointed time. Be they in Germany or USA, my understanding is both places have public health crises and extraordinarily disruptive situations.

    You specifically asked about old people and for old people to repond at the end of your article.

    Here is our story from a land less troubled and far away. We are a gay couple, together for decades. My partner is 84 and I’m a little less, so I guess we are considered old. We used to travel internationally a lot until the borders here closed. For the most part though, our social lives are much the same here. We still have dinner parties, go to the beach, to the pool and gym daily, meet with friends.

    This has been good for mental welfare. It must be terrible for old people to lose social networks.

    Part of the arithmetic here has been to factor in the cost of mental welfare, so that’s why there has been such a strong quarantine strategy of keeping the borders closed and keeping infection strongly mitigated here. (not eliminated) .

    If everyone gets put in lockdown for ages, then they will go looney, we figure. And that might be worse than the virus!

    The vaccination program will start here at the end of next month. Some will get the USA vaccines, but the problem we see is that the USA vaccines need special care (really cold storage) in getting them distributed. And they are in limited supply.

    Most of us will be vaccinated with the UK vaccine as we have a licence to produce it here, it is cheap and it can easily be delivered to every corner of the country ,just like flu vaccine, using normal refrigeration. So it means vaccinations can be done conveniently.In local pharmacies etc. Yes, of course, we understand the USA vaccine is “better”, but….. this is the world we live in. No-one here speaks of the Chinese or the Russian vaccines. It is as if those products don’t exist. There was a local vaccine, but that showed false positive HIV results when the people were tested. The HIV virus has a lot of similarities with the coronavirus, so some vaccines used that as a starting point. Maybe it will be repurposed in future.

    If we argue what is “best” and wait or vaccinate slowly, the virus gets more opportunity to mutate. Then we are back at square one again.

    Our relative in Italy works in a nursing home for old people. They have all been vaccinated with the Pfizer vaccine and will get the second shot soon. They are told they will all need to be done again in September before the next Winter season. I’m not sure what you are told about that, and how long the vaccination is effective for. Everyone has been chest thumping about “efficacy rates”instead.

    There has been a bit of discussion here about who should get vaccinated first, and why it is old people and people with co-morbidites get done first generally. Something to think about is that old people and people who have other illnesses tend to get hospitalised if they get covid19, and that hospitalisation can last a long time.

    The problem is that gives the virus enough time in their body to mutate. i.e. the virus that is resistant to some of the medications, or faster at reproducing will be able to grow and multiply in those host bodies.

    If a staff gets infected with the mutant virus from any of those patients, then things go ballistic. I’m not sure if it was reported , but it is believed the current UK strain started back in September from a patient in Kent who also had an immune system co-morbidity. Unfortunately it spread from that person to hospital staff , then into the community like wild-fire. So it is worthwhile giving old people and those with co-morbidities the vaccine. It is worth noting that one of the vaccines were given specific testing on these groups of people. The big medical companies ted to use healthy 20-50 yer old candidates to do their test. They want good results after all.

    If I had 2 wishes, that wish would be that people stopped treating this like it was some sort of “olympic games” where certain countries are praised and others are criticised, some political leaders are praised, some are criticised. My other wish would be that everyone could live in a place where the virus was strongly mitigated so very few die of it, and could go about almost “normal” lives whilst we wait to be immunised. We are in a pandemic, a long-term public health disaster which affects all the world.

    Now you know what an old person thinks. Thanks for asking.

  55. @Indy “I struggle see why seniors would be vaccinated before every healthcare worker, police officer, emergency responder, and essential retail employee. I’m happy for your folks but am frustrated that others who don’t have the luxury of isolation continue to be infected and die.”

    @Mr G “Those are my thoughts exactly. Why not vaccinate the first responders and those who have to go to work such as grocery clerks first? Older folks who have the luxury of not going out getting the vaccine first is a disgrace.”

    It is a well known fact that those who are youngest have the lowest rates of death from COVID-19, and those who are the oldest are most at risk for dying, as proven in the grossly mismanaged situations at nursing homes in states such as NY! And many on the front lines are even voluntarily deferring their priority slots to those who are in the elderly age brackets, because they understand their own younger-age risk profiles!

    @Robin “… and Trump had *nothing* to do with the development of any vaccine. Zero, zilch, nada. Stop repeating lies.”

    Really? So you think that anyone else could have done the same program in Warp Speed time? Biden even said that it would take *at least 5 years*! Sometimes (albeit very rarely) leaders *can* help to *expedite* the bureaucratic red tapes to move things along, even though they did *not* directly participate in the products development processes!

    @Jo145 “… you don’t seem to understand what “warp speed” is …. the rollout in the US has been anything but.”

    In the US the federal government delivers the vaccines to the states, and thereafter it’s the states that dictate who, how, when, and where those vaccines are to be dispensed … and each state has effected its own varying ways/rates of dispensing, so “warp speed” is, at that point, totally out of the picture!

  56. Thumbs up!!! Keep in mind that protection is fully effective two weeks after the SECOND shot. They need to keep being careful the next weeks!

  57. Your a real Mensh, my tears were rolling down reading your story. I am so happy for your parents, and wish them together with you a new healthy save year. Myself was vaccinated two days ago. In Israel this is been done quick and good compared to all the other governmental chaotic decisions. More then 17 corona casualties this week on those who were already vaccinated with the first shot. So pls let them still be careful. Warm Regards, Michel

  58. @Philip Maurice Elliott
    I guess you’re in Australia where there’s been considerable discussion about the government’s purchase of Astra-Zeneca ( 50 million doses, 62-70% efficacy) v Pfizer ( 10 million doses, 90%+), and the planned rollout commencing February.
    As you point out, the logistical complications of Pfizer are significant v the relatively straightforward implementation of the Astra-Zeneca ( locally manufactured, easy storage and distribution, mass doses available).
    While it goes without saying that the Pfizer is the preferred way to achieve ‘herd immunity’, in that it prevents transmission at a much higher rate, it should be noted that Astra-Zeneca ( Oxford) has virtually 100% efficacy in preventing clinically significant disease, ie people might get minor symptoms but they’re extremely unlikely to die of COVID once vaccinated.
    It’s likely that we’re all going to need either annual vaccinations, or boosters…so no doubt they’ll ‘tweak’ as needed to get the most efficacious dosage and to deal with mutations.
    Helping the elderly and vulnerable navigate the system is a great gift and I’m glad Ben and others were able to do this.

  59. In Texas I know numerous people over age 65 and health care workers who have been vaccinated since the first week in January – so this is not about Germany the USA is doing great! They have the second dose already schedule for January 23 etc nice Job USA

  60. Great news, very happy for you, as others similarly mentioned I am in Australia (WA) where live is and has been for 8 months pretty much normal, so I am very happy countries like the US and UK will get vaccinated first.

  61. @fairminded
    given the first vaccine was not developed in us and even their us-based partner declined warp speed money because they believe it would delay them, keep in mind warp speed is just a fancy branding job for the defence product act a Roosevelt administration law, and Trump has refused to us it for other products that are in deeply short supply like ventilators, beds, oxygen systems, and high-grade face mask. So no he gets no credit, but the teams of people doing vaccine development and supply chain work plus medical professionals deserve a huge amount of credit

  62. I’m quite sure this comes as a relief. My husband is a nurse and has been treating COVID patients, and I was extremely relieved when our state began the vaccination process. I must confess that I do not understand why FL has chosen to prioritize elderly members of the community over the nurses and doctors treating patients. But regardless, I’m happy for you.

  63. @Joe Chivas: While the US can certainly be critiqued for a number of reasons (as can all countries), your evident anti-American bias in this instance (to quote: “Only in Germany! You’d never get results this quickly here in the US.”) is not supported by facts. Per Reuters, as of Jan 11, the vaccination rate per capita in the US is more than triple that of Germany. In fact, only 3 countries–all of them with relatively small and geographically concentrated populations–have higher per capita vaccination rates than the US does, namely Israel, UAE, and Bahrain. The rate in the US has been 2.02%, while in Germany is has been 0.64%. Germany even lags Italy and Portugal, which are two countries not known for their speediness. So the “only in Germany” exclamation is squarely out of line with reality.

  64. @dstblj 52 “given the first vaccine was not developed in us and even their us-based partner declined warp speed money because they believe it would delay them, keep in mind warp speed is just a fancy branding job for the defence product act a Roosevelt administration law, and Trump has refused to us it for other products that are in deeply short supply like ventilators, beds, oxygen systems, and high-grade face mask. So no he gets no credit, but the teams of people doing vaccine development and supply chain work plus medical professionals deserve a huge amount of credit”

    If you’re referring to the Pfizer/BioNTech version, they did get a *huge* order and payments to induce them to start early mass production runs, and they have acknowledged that they *did* benefit greatly from Operation Warp Speed (OWS) fundings.

    As for the other PPEs, those were already taken care of through the Defense Production Act (DPA) for domestic production of ventilators and N95 masks, and is a different program than OWS. The DPA is involved with OWS to help *prioritize* logistical issues, but *not* with any direct funding, so *no* DPA funds were diverted to OWS with any detriments to production of PPEs.

    We should still, of course, acknowledge that *everyone* gets lots of credit on this effort, which would *never* have occurred, much less succeeded, under the legacy Establishment mentality of the traditional Federal government!

  65. @FairMinded Your claims that only Trump could have done this are absurd. Just more of the typical propaganda we have seen from the Trump administration and their supporters. The first successful vaccine was developed by a company that wasn’t even part of warp speed. So sick of the constant lies from the right. When it came to the rollout of these vaccines and how the Trump administration basically walked away from it leading to the distribution chaos we are now seeing across the country. Simply pathetic

  66. If anyone thinks more government oversight like what Biden wants – will speed up the approval of any vaccine or any rollout is not truthful – look at the rollout in New York with Dem Governor and Dem Mayor – Cuomo just said this week he will begin to open restaurants (like Texas and Florida and Georgia have done for 6 months (My point is let the markets and task oriented business people figure this out not Biden and Cuomo)

  67. So happy for you Ben and Ford! Ben, after all of this is over, we want to see another trip with your dad. Reading your trip reports with your dad and especially his videos brings a tear.

  68. Very happy for your folks.
    My parents live in Israel and not only did they get their vaccines without any fuss, websites, calls or long lines (they waited for 2 minutes) they received the second dose yesterday.
    I wish the US would learn from what is done in other countries.
    Both my parents, as most seniors do, have illnesses that would put them at greater risk should they get sick.
    I, as you must be, am quite relieved that they got vaccinated.
    Now the wait begins for the rest of us…


  69. Whoever is responsible doesn’t matter that much. You should be rejoicing at the rapid roll-out of vaccine in the USA, well ahead of the pack. As of Jan 13 your vaccination rate is well over 3%.

    Small countries such as Israel, UAE, Bahrain and, yes, the UK have the advantage of concentrated populations which make the distribution process simple and quick.

    What is even better is that your supply of vaccine seems to be triple what has already been delivered. That means that 10% will be achieved very rapidly and has anecdotes have indicated.

    Canada was one of the first countries to start vaccinations and supposedly had a good supply. We are now stalled at 1% because we have run out of vaccine.

    So when people in this blog complain about the slow distribution please be cognizant of the facts that you are almost the best in the world and I hope for your sake that it continues.

    Be safe. Still distance etc.

  70. @Bill “Your claims that only Trump could have done this are absurd. Just more of the typical propaganda we have seen from the Trump administration and their supporters. The first successful vaccine was developed by a company that wasn’t even part of warp speed. So sick of the constant lies from the right. When it came to the rollout of these vaccines and how the Trump administration basically walked away from it leading to the distribution chaos we are now seeing across the country. Simply pathetic”

    So tell me exactly *when* in the past has such a major program been accomplished in <1 year's time? Even Biden said that it would take at least 5 years to do! Need another example of how partnering with private industry tremendously accelerates development programs? Just note how quickly Space-X has innovatively accomplished its phenomenal milestones vs. how long NASA traditionally took to accomplish its *less* innovative milestones!

    As for Pfizer/BioNTech not being part of Operation Warp Speed, here's a quote from a Pfizer spokesperson —

    “Pfizer is one of various vaccine manufacturers participating in Operation Warp Speed as a supplier of a potential COVID-19 vaccine,” the company said in a statement reported by CNN’s Daniel Dale.

    With respect to the rollout speed of vaccines, once the Federal government distributes previously agreed allocations to the states, it is then *totally* up to those states to take charge on dispensing to their recipients based upon their individually determined priorities; if there are then glitches within certain states on their (in)efficiencies in dispensing, that is *not* the responsibility of the Federal government!

  71. In Germany (state Schleswig-Holstein) all my grandparents got vaccinated last and this week, therefore it was definitely better and faster than expected.

  72. So pleased for you and your family. My Mum gets hers tomorrow. I have to admit, I let out a little tear of joy when I got the news.

  73. @Paolo,
    Thanks for taking the time to reply. Yes, indeed, the safety aspect of the UK vaccine is really important. It looks like in many countries, there is a reluctance among some people to take the vaccine, and that’s understandable as often there is a social media narrative that “the government got us into such a mess, how can we trust it to get us out of the mess?” Whilst understandable, it is a self-defeating narrative.

    Another thing that’s happening here to bolster trust in vaccines is looking at using blockchain technology. An invisible chemical barcode could be put into the vaccine, so the entire trip from manufacture to my arm could be tracked. And I could then prove that I got a real vaccine. It hasn’t escaped attention that these new vaccines are really valuable, can become useless if not handled correctly, and could be tampered with malicious intent.

  74. Mazal Tov Ben.

    My mom got her second shot a couple of days ago and I can relate to your elation and the feeling of a bug worry off the shoulders.

    And about everything else…people are doing the best they can with the information and tools that have to bring about 8 billion people a vaccine. It’s not going to he perfect but we will get there.

  75. @fairminded
    While at least two American company played a big role in developing two vaccine (Pfizer which is kinda Germany too, and Mordena), the government did not play a major role in the development. I would not say that the government have nothing with do with the development, but it was not significant enough where it had sped up the development, since many other nation were also ordering vaccine. As you mention, Pfizer/BioNTech did participate in operation warp speed, but reason they chose to not receive the funding is because of bureaucracy. They only participate as a supplier, not as a partner. In terms of government help, it was really the German government that had funded the BioNTech vaccine research.

  76. @tcchoi

    You appear to suffer from “engineering bias syndrome,” where only the “development” aspects are deemed “significant”; however, in the real world, it’s the *total system accomplishments* that make or break entire programs.

    What Operation Warp Speed did, was to provide the funding and inducements to get vaccine “developments” onto the fast track through huge pre-production purchasing commitments. Some of the funding went to select Pharmaceuticals to assist with their ongoing development efforts (including testing/trials), while other portions went into accelerating productions of inventories (eg, as with Pfizer/BioNTech).

    To executive management, “development” that is *not* backed up with “significant” purchasing commitments from customers, will *not* get high priority to proceed with all due haste. While there were other countries that would also purchase the vaccines, USA provided the *largest market opportunities* backed up with *already approved* “significant” funding commitments to essentially “guarantee” huge inventory purchases, thus enabling Pharmaceuticals to justify their proceeding immediately with all due haste.

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