Since March 2020 Covid-19 has negatively impacted the United States. Businesses shut down, mental health has been affected, and we have lost 300,000 American lives. After a lot of hard work and dedication, the first Covid-19 vaccine has been approved by the Food and Drug Association as of Friday, December 11, 2020. Developed by Pfizer and BioNTech, the vaccine is officially available to the US public.
So how does the vaccine work? The mRNA-based covid vaccine takes a fragment of genetic code from the virus to teach the body to build immunity. After 21 days, a second dose is given as an immunity booster. The vaccine is highly sufficient with a 95% effective rate and will save numerous lives. As there is a limited supply of the vaccine, it will be distributed to healthcare personnel and residents of long-term care facilities first. As larger quantities of the vaccine become available, more groups will be supplied.
But what about those who are at high risk for exposure to the virus? Those in prisons, jails, and homeless shelters are at a high risk to catch the coronavirus because social distancing is nearly impossible and inhabitants of prisons and shelters are gathered in large crowds. In San Quentin State Prison, California an outbreak of coronavirus sickened 2,200 inmates and 28 people died. The rate of prisoners infected by coronavirus is five times higher than the nation’s average. Prioritizing those with a compromised health condition and those who are 65 years or older for the coronavirus vaccine would decrease the death rate of the inhabitants of prisons and homeless shelters as well as decrease the infection rate. Providing the vaccine to high-risk inmates and to the homeless is a necessity in order to secure the safety of these citizens.
Inmates and homeless people are relying on the government’s protection to ensure their safety from the coronavirus. Signing petitions, reaching out to high officials, donating to causes, and spreading awareness about the devastation coronavirus has spread to homeless people and those in prisons are great ways to help save lives. Remember to stay safe, wear a mask, and keep fighting for change in our nation!