USA: “Finally with a system” against the pandemic | Free press

Baltimore (AP) – “Appointments twelve hours or earlier,” calls Sergeant Stephen Conkey. “Twelve o’clock or earlier!” The soldier calls again and walks to the group that is approaching him from the parking lot.

“On sale today: Pfizer” is written on a white banner – what sounds like a canteen marks the entrance to one of the mass vaccination centers in the US. In Baltimore, Maryland, the local football club’s stadium has been vaccinated against Corona for nearly a month. Soldiers of the National Guard have come to support. Where in normal times there is room for more than 70,000 fans, in the pandemic several thousand vaccine doses can be injected per day.

The gigantic vaccination centers are part of the success story told Thursday by US President Joe Biden, just under two months after he took up residence in the White House. One of his main promises in the fight against the pandemic was that 100 million doses of vaccine would be administered in the first 100 days of his tenure – that is, by the end of April. On Friday, White House corona coordinator Jeff Zients announced that the goal had been reached – in just 58 days and weeks ahead of schedule.

Last year, given the dramatic course of the pandemic, the United States was unenviable, especially from Europe. The country has – in absolute numbers – more pandemic deaths than any other country: about 540,000. More than 29.6 million infections have been diagnosed. On Thursday, Biden cited Europe as a chilling example of what happens when pandemic caution diminishes too quickly. “Please, please, don’t let what is happening in Europe as you see it on television,” he told his countrymen.

In the US, the curve of new infections every day is not going up, but that of vaccinations. According to the US health authority CDC, more than 115 million doses have been administered since the vaccination began in mid-December – a good month before Biden took office. More than 12 percent of the total population has already been fully vaccinated. In comparison, in Germany the vaccination rate is only 3.7 percent. According to Biden, an average of more than 2.5 million doses are injected per day in the US.

The promise is in the air in Baltimore. “Ending Covid starts with us,” reads everyone who leaves the vaccination center towards the parking lot. Roy Longanecker accompanied his mother Annerose to the stadium. Relief is written on her face at the exit. “I wasn’t worried at all. It’s something you have to do – just like we dealt with measles when we were young, ”says Annerose Longanecker. The 75-year-old is originally from Kassel. Her husband worked for the American Secret Service at the German-German border. In 1967 she went with him to the US.

She was amazed at how smoothly the appointment went, says Annerose Longanecker – first the registration via the iPad, then the vaccination on the top floor of the stadium. “We spent an hour on it, but it felt like the time had passed.”

“A vaccinated America is the only way to beat the pandemic, get our economy back on track, and get our lives and loved ones back,” Biden said during a recent meeting with the heads of pharmaceutical companies Merck and Johnson &. Johnson. “The vaccinations bring hope and healing in so many ways.” Since taking office, the new president has been pushing to speed up vaccinations.

Biden has accused his predecessor Donald Trump of failure in the pandemic. The vaccinations give Biden good news at the start of his tenure. But the fact that the EU states are now jealous of the other side of the Atlantic is not only thanks to him. The Trump administration has laid the foundation for this.

As part of the large-scale Operation Warp Speed ​​project, billions of dollars have been pumped into the development, production and distribution of vaccines and drugs against the coronavirus. The new government has no credit for the preparatory work. “I don’t think anyone deserves credit when half a million people in the country have died from this pandemic,” Biden spokeswoman Jen Psaki said recently.

When Gonzalo Cruz left the football stadium in Baltimore, he hit his right upper arm several times with his left hand. “It didn’t hurt at all,” he says. “You will feel safer, we will all feel safer.” His 26-year-old son Juan, who accompanied him, has already seen two massive vaccination centers up close. Juan said he had his own “shot” – his shot, as they say in the US – in the parking lot of the Six Flags America amusement park east of the capital Washington. He didn’t even have to get out of the car for this. He is not exactly sure why he has already been vaccinated. His girlfriend suggested he register too – and it worked.

Civil Protection Office Fema lists five different types of vaccination centers. In recycled stages, up to 6,000 vaccinations can be administered per day. According to this data, some hospitals have a capacity of up to 3,000 doses per day, plus mobile vaccination clinics, pharmacies or supermarkets.

Each state determines who prefers a vaccination. In many places it is now the turn of the elderly, people with previous illnesses or members of certain occupational groups. Biden has instructed states to generally open vaccinations by May 1. By the end of May, the vaccine should be available to all approximately 260 million adults in the United States.

But not everything is going as well as health experts would like it to be in the US. White Americans make up the bulk of those who are fully vaccinated – just under 70 percent. Less than seven percent are black, although their share of the total population is much higher. Their low vaccination coverage is explained in part by a deep-seated mistrust in the country’s health system, where they still face implicit racial prejudice and discrimination.

After vaccinating his mother at the football stadium, Roy Longanecker says he did not expect the vaccination campaign to go so well. And he recalls a quote from the former British Prime Minister: “Winston Churchill once said that the United States will only do the right thing if it has tried everything else. And I feel like this is exactly where we are. We’ve tried everything else. And we have finally achieved a system. “

Related Articles

Back to top button