When the leader of a first-world country makes a projection on the percentage of its citizens vaccinated by a certain date, it is likely that target would be attained because they have the resources.
United States President Joe Biden vowed on May 4, 2021, that 70 percent of US adults will receive at least one dose of a coronavirus disease (Covid-19) vaccine in two months or by July 4. Biden had said Americans would gain their freedom from Covid-19 on Independence Day. But two weeks before that deadline, US health officials gave indications the target would not be reached.
As of Friday, July 2, US Centers for Disease Control figures showed that over 172 million Americans, or about 67 percent of the adult population, have received at least one dose of the Covid- 19 vaccine. About 156 million have received both doses or about 47 percent.
What prevented the US government from attaining Biden’s target was mainly the refusal or hesitance of Americans to get vaccinated. News organizations have held polls that showed common results. Many unvaccinated Americans were too busy to get the shots, felt they did not need them, or would rather wait.
Independence Day came and officials admitted the US fell short of Biden’s July 4 vaccine goal. There were victories, still, as infections and deaths were down since Biden took the White House and thousands have rejoined the workforce. “Today, while the virus hasn’t been vanquished, we know this: it no longer controls our lives, it no longer paralyzes our nation and it’s within our power to make sure it never does so again,” Biden said in his address. “We’re seeing record job creation and record economic growth – the best in four decades and, I might add, the best in the world.”
It cannot be ignored however that his promise was not fulfilled. The lesson must be that, in this pandemic, it is important to manage expectations as Covid-19 is insidious and unpredictable. Many countries and even cities in the Philippines thought they have drastically reduced, if not stopped, the transmission of the virus only to have the Delta variant sneak in and infect several people.
Parts of Cebu are seeing increases in Covid-19 cases after months of controlling the spread of infection through collaborative efforts of the government and private sector. Warnings are up again on the need to weak mask and face shield, keep distance, and stay home unless for essential trips.
No one can claim victory or say that they have beaten the virus because Covid-19 is a smart and persistent enemy who, as scientists and health experts said, is able to adapt in order for it to survive.
No army or battalion is prepared to engage Covid-19 but the weapon available so far is the vaccine which could only be armed if injected into the arms of the unvaccinated. That, for now, is how the battle is to be won whether for a rich or poor nation.