In most regions in the U.S., including New York, every adult has recently become eligible to receive COVID-19 vaccines. People are eager to book appointments and get vaccinated as soon as possible to get back to their normal lives.
The U.S. government is also trying its best to supply as many vaccines as possible to meet the explosive demands. COVID-19 vaccines were only administered at gyms or baseball stadiums at first, but they are now provided at local drugstores, convenience stores, movie theaters, and other public venues. A person’s age, health, and immigration status do not matter anymore unlike when there was a vaccine shortage. As long as a person makes an appointment and brings documents to prove the address of residence, he or she is eligible for inoculation. With most in the high-risk group already vaccinated, it is not necessary to figure out who should get vaccinated first to be fair. Right now, it is critical to vaccinate as many people as possible at the fastest speed.
The U.S. is driving COVID-19 vaccination in full force, following its efforts to develop and produce vaccines since last year. The U.S. citizens are mostly cooperative with less rejection to vaccines than expected. There are consistent themes with such an attitude – first, the judgment that vaccines will be the tool to end the war with the pandemic and a sense of goal to achieve it. Both ruling and opposition parties share the same sentiment. Even former President Donald Trump who often exposed holes in the U.S.’s disease control measures pushed vaccine development with Operation Warp Speed. The Joe Biden administration, which took office following Trump’s presidency, leveraged the Defense Production Act to secure and supply vaccines. It is clear that the U.S. failed in early responses to COVID-19 and mask mandates, experiencing more devastating results than other countries. However, with more than 45 percent of adults vaccinated, the country is likely to reach the point at which normal daily lives are possible.
With the increasing speed of vaccination, the outlook of economic recovery is bright. Those on Wall Street say that the Goldilocks moment is coming for the first time in 20 years. With the resumption of economic activities, it is believed that a long-term economic boom in the 1990s based on the development of information technology can be repeated. Cargo volume that goes through major ports in New York and New Jersey increased by about 20 percent compared to an average year. Manufacturing plants are experiencing a rapid rise in production volume and desperately looking for new hires. All of these signal the recovery of consumption, which supports the U.S. economy. If the service industry recovers to the normal level with the virus under control and the development of non-face-to-face technologies leads to industrial innovations, the 6.4 percent growth forecast by the IMF this year may be within reach. Vaccines are the strongest economic stimulation plan.
The “vaccine divide,” determined by which countries win based on how many vaccines they have secured, is becoming a reality. A gap of few months in achieving herd immunity has a huge impact on a national economy. South Korea has been successful in minimizing the damage from COVID-19 but is lagging behind in efforts to end the unfortunate period. The reasons that delayed vaccine procurement last year should be disclosed sooner or later.