Day 373—Vaccinations

My parents and grandmother got vaccinated: a big relieve.

Last summer, I wouldn’t have thought that there would be vaccinations this soon. Even optimistic news articles mentioned that trials just take time, that vaccines are rarely developed in less than three years, that even running decent trials would take a year and that maybe we wouldn’t even ever develop a corona virus vaccine. So I expected the invention of a working vaccine like a single big celebratory moment. I experienced it in a rather anticlimactic way. There wasn’t a single ‘we have a vaccine’ moment. It was a trickle of news reports describing the progress at several pharmaceutical companies, step by step. When the first vaccines were available, the production rate was low. Then there was the whole bureaucratic setup where countries had to get their logistics in place. The Netherlands (where most of my family lives) was one of the last countries in the world to start vaccinated. Germany (where I live) was only a week or so earlier. Officials in The Netherlands (correctly, IMO) pointed out that it’s not so much about who starts first, but about what system works fastest. But all of Europe is vaccinating slowly (and the Netherlands was among slowest). We’re still only at ~20%. Most European countries wanted to negotiate good bargain for vaccines. The UK, where vaccination is at 50% now was willing to pay a lot more. And with a lot more I mean less than €30 per capita.

With the oldest of the population being prioritized, my grandmother’s turn was quite soon. But my parents had to wait till May. Until it turned out that the media reporting about the AstraZeneca vaccine made a lot of people lose trust in it. So many that the vaccination centers didn’t know what to do with the vaccine anymore. They made voluntary waiting lists and so my parents got their vaccine through one of those.

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