Tag Archives: vaccine

And now … a good word about Operation Warp Speed

By JOHN KANELIS / johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

Admittedly, this blog has spent a great deal of time, emotional energy and cyberspace over the past four years bashing, slashing and smashing at the Donald J. Trump administration.

Trump is about to exit the political stage in less than 30 days. I now want to say a good word about what — in a normal world — should stand as an enduring legacy to his term in office.

This isn’t a normal world. Operation Warp Speed is a creation of someone within the White House to define the mission of finding a vaccine for the coronavirus that has killed more than 300,000 Americans and nearly 2 million people around the world.

The COVID-19 virus arrived early this year. Trump dragged his feet in recognizing publicly the peril it posed. Then he owned up to its consequence. He also announced the strategy he said would expedite the research and development of a vaccine that could cure the world of the pandemic.

Trump predicted during his failed re-election campaign that we could have a vaccine by the end of the year. Skeptics scoffed. I don’t recall speaking directly to Trump’s boast, but it did ring a bit hollow. Others in the White House task force formed to come up with a response strategy said it would take longer.

Well, guess what. Donald Trump was right. Pfizer and Moderna have produced highly efficient vaccines that are now being administered around the world. A third pharmaceutical firm, AstraZeneca, is about to bring a vaccine on line.

There is plenty of debate about the impact that Operation Warp Speed had in delivering these vaccines. Some experts say the drug firms were well on the way to producing it already; others give Warp Speed a ton of credit for goosing the companies to delivering the goods in a timely fashion.

I am willing to dole out praise to Donald Trump for providing some of the impetus to get this vaccine developed and approved. But not all of it. Indeed, I am weary beyond belief of hearing Trump take undue credit for work that others did.

Drug company researchers and scientists worked their butts off to produce a vaccine with an efficacy level that experts have called “extraordinary.” Yet there was Trump the other day stepping into the limelight to say that no other politician in human history could have produced those kinds of results.

Mr. President, the program that came to be under your watch has done well. Accept the congratulations that belong mostly to the researchers … and then get the hell out of the way.

Impossible to dismiss good news in time of peril

By JOHN KANELIS / johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

It is virtually impossible for me to hold back the joy I feel as I watch news reports from around this great nation of individuals receiving shots in their arm.

We are subjected daily — even hourly — to reports of death and misery from the COVID-19 virus. It has killed more than 300,000 Americans. Many more will die. It has infected more than 17 million of us. Millions more infections are on their way, too.

And yet … we watch news reports, read about them in the newspaper (yes, we still read newspapers in our home) about millions of doses of vaccine being distributed. There is hope. There is a glimmer of optimism. However, the doctors in charge of this good news tell us to hold off on popping the champagne corks. We’re going to endure a lot more suffering before we can “turn the corner,” or recognize the “light at the end of the tunnel” as the end of this pandemic.

The good news is tempered by the heartache we are enduring. It also is tamped down a bit by the hideous non-response of the current president of the United States, who remains fixated on his re-election loss and the bogus claims of fraud, illegal voting, a “rigged election” … or whatever the hell pops into his vacuous skull.

Donald Trump is almost out of there.

In the meantime, I intend to watch the news with a mixed set of emotion. I want to relish the good news and I will do so in the moments I see those reports flash in front of me. Still, we all must be realistic about what we know also is occurring. For all the good news we watch as nurses, doctors, police, firefighters and essential government leaders get immunized against the killer, we must hold dear our feeling of empathy and compassion for the loss that continues to occur around the world.

These are trying times for the human spirit. The optimist that lives within me will grasp the good news as it arrives and pray for the moment that our joy will bury our sadness.

Get the vaccine, Mr. POTUS!

By JOHN KANELIS / johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

Donald Trump says he will receive a vaccination shot to protect him against COVID-19 at the “appropriate time.”

Well, if I might make this suggestion: Right now is the time, Mr. President.

Trump is on his way out of office. However, he remains the one president in charge of our nation’s executive branch of government. That means, as near as I can tell, he is an essential government official. He occupies a position of maximum need.

Vice President Mike Pence is going to get his vaccine on Friday. President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris are getting their vaccines very soon. Dr. Anthony Fauci, our nation’s top infectious disease expert, is urging the president and the president-elect to get vaccinated ASAP.

Listen to the doc — for once! — Mr. President. Now is the time!

Yes, bring on the vaccine!

By JOHN KANELIS / johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

I am astonished to learn that about one-third of Americans polled say they wouldn’t take a COVID vaccine if it is offered to them.

That’s the bad news. The good news is that two-thirds of us would take it.

You may count me as one American who is ready and more than willing to take the shot in my arm when it becomes available to folks such as me.

I am an elderly American. However, I suffer from zero pre-existing conditions. Which means I am a bit down the list of recipients. That’s OK. I am fine with that. The first responders need it now, as do nursing home residents.

Pfizer and Moderna both boast of 95 percent efficacy in their proposed vaccines. From what I have heard that is an exceptional success rate. Docs are calling it “extraordinary.” That is good enough for me.

I want to take the vaccine. I have long been a proponent of mandatory vaccines for children. I took them all as a kid because Mom and Dad insisted I become immunized against childhood illness. I passed that insistence on to my own sons when they were in school.

An anxious nation awaits Food and Drug Administration approval of the Pfizer vaccine. I am one anxious American. If the FDA gives it a “go,” and if the drug firm is able to get it distributed, I will wait patiently for my turn.

When they call my name, I will be there to take the vaccine.

Vaccine, yes; anti-COVID measures, also yes!

By JOHN KANELIS / johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

I feel as though I am lecturing a child who likely knows what he or she is about to hear. Here goes nonetheless.

Vaccines that could eradicate the COVID-19 virus that has killed 270,000 Americans and sickened millions more are on the horizon. Does that mean we should relax? Do we now just forget about all the warnings we’ve been hearing and hopefully heeding for the past nine or 10 months?

Not just no, but hell no!

Pfizer and Moderna, two “big pharma” firms that are developing vaccines, are seeking Food and Drug Administration fast-track approval to begin distributing the vaccines; AstraZenena, a third firm that is developing a vaccine, likely is set to make the same request of the FDA.

I am hopeful and optimistic about the vaccines. Just so you know, I intend to be vaccinated as soon as it is available to me. I also know that I — along with my wife — likely will have to wait while others who need it more urgently get vaccinated.

We have been diligent in our house to protect ourselves against the virus. We mask up when we venture outside our house.  We maintain our distance from others. We use generous amounts of hand sanitizer. We wash our hands frequently … in our own home!

I intend fully to continue doing all of that even after I receive my vaccine.

The Dallas Morning News editorialized about all of this the other day, calling on us to refuse to let our guard down. We must not relax even with vaccines on the horizon.

We all know what’s happening out there. Infection, hospitalizations and deaths are up. Too many of us are ignoring the warnings. I heard Dr. Anthony Fauci, the premier infectious disease guru in the nation if not the world say that he has no problem with people accusing him of “overreacting” to the pandemic.

Indeed, it is far better to “overreact” and stay clear of the killer virus than to do the opposite.

I, too, plan to overreact.