Time to Take on Covid-19 in Florida
The State of Florida has one of the worst covid-19 problems in the country. The number of cases, hospitalizations, and deaths has risen for the past 30 days as of 27 August, 2021. An average of 242.1 covid-19 patients have died per day over that time. New cases average 105 per 100,000 citizens, and 19.2% of those tested test positive. Of 6,905 ICU beds, 3,744 are filled by covid-19 patients. With 95% of ICU beds filled, hospitals have little room for a new surge of the virus. With only 62.9% of Floridians 12 and over having had their first vaccination, and only 51.9% fully vaccinated, herd immunity has still not been achieved. A goal of 70% vaccinated would control pandemic, and an ideal rate of 100% could eradicate covid-19 altogether.
When covid-19 vaccinations were first introduced, the FDA approved them on an emergency basis, making some individuals cautious of their safety profile. This was unnecessary, because the messenger RNA science, used to produce Pfizer and Moderna vaccines, had been studied for decades, and tailored for fighting covid-19 as soon as it was discovered and isolated. The Johnson & Johnson vaccine is made by the more traditional method of using a harmless virus to teach the human immune system to fight a more deadly species. This goes all the way back to the 18th century, when physician Edward Jenner discovered that milk maids, having been infected with the relatively harmless cowpox, were immune from smallpox. (The word “vaccination” is derived from the Latin word “vacca” for cow). The FDA has now approved the Pfizer vaccine, under the proprietary name Comirnaty, and Moderna has applied for full FDA approval for its vaccine.
Quarantine is another public health measure known to control epidemics. With testing, individuals known to be positive for infection can avoid spreading the virus by staying home for only 10 days. Isn’t that a great way to save lives?