January has been the deadliest month for COVID-19, surpassing December’s record of deaths. 80,000 people have died this month from the virus, according to data from John Hopkins University.
“The brutal truth is it’s going to take months before we can get the majority of Americans vaccinated. Months. In the next few months, masks, not vaccines, are the best defense against COVID-19,” President Joe Biden said.
President Biden wants 100 million vaccinations in the first 100 days of his presidency. The president has also expressed his desire for people to wear masks for 100 days. There is a high demand for the vaccine as people are looking to return to normal life. In Mississippi, the demand is high.
“We have to defeat it because Mississippians are done. We’re done burying loved ones who were lost to the virus. We’re done with stressed hospitals. We’re done with the fearful talk of lockdowns and shutdowns. We’re ready for community again,” Tate Reeves, Governor of Mississippi, said.
The supply of the vaccine does not meet the demand. New York Governor Andrew Cuomo told Nicolle Wallace from MSNBC that he doesn’t believe that the promised 16% increase in the vaccine allocations will be enough.
“We’re functionally out. We start to get a new allocation over the next few days,” Cuomo said.
It is still not clear whether the vaccine protects people against variants of the virus. Barbara Ferrer, Los Angeles County Public Health Director, believes caution should be taken with reopening cities because the variants are more deadly and spread easily.
“This would not be the time to think just because we are reopening that things are looking rosy,” Ferrer said. “We do need to move through the next few weeks with caution. At many other points where we’ve been reopening our sectors, we, in fact, have seen a bump in our cases we can’t really afford that.”
Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla says that groundwork is being laid to fight the variants.
“We should not be frightened, but I think we need to be prepared,” Bourla said at Bloomberg’s “The Year Ahead” event. “Once we discover something that is not as effective, we will very, very quickly produce a booster dose that will be a small variation to the current one.”