Monmouth University Poll: 1 In 4 Americans Say They “Likely Will Never Get Vaccine”

Monmouth University recently released results of a telephone poll conducted from January 21 to 24, 2021, with 809 adults in the United States. The poll covers several recent results, but the results around COVID-19 vaccines are concerning.

Monmouth pollsters asked people,

Thinking about the Covid vaccine, do you plan to get the vaccine as soon as you are allowed, will you let other people get it first to see how it goes, or is it likely you will never get the vaccine if you can avoid it?

As soon as allowed50%
See how it goes19%
Likely will never get vaccine24%
Already got it6%
Don't know2%

Resistance to COVID-19 vaccination appears to be driven by partisanship. According to Monmouth,

Democrats are most eager to get the vaccine as soon as possible (72% when combined with those who already got the vaccine) – much more so than independents (51%) and Republicans (39%). More than 4 in 10 Republicans (42%) say they will avoid ever getting the vaccine if they can, which is significantly higher than the number of independents (25%) and Democrats (10%) who feel the same.

Florida Paramedic Charged With Stealing COVID-19 Vaccines

What the hell is going on in Polk County, Florida?

Joshua Colon, 31, was arrested Monday by the Polk County Sheriff’s Office after confessing to intentionally stealing three doses of Moderna vaccine then forging paperwork in attempt to cover his actions, according to the Sheriff’s Office. 

. . .

According to Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd, Colon said he stole the vaccines earlier this month at the request of his supervisor, Capt. Tony Damiano, who sought the vaccine for his elderly mother.

The Sheriff’s Office said the paramedic at first refused, but he told investigators that Damiano threatened to inform those higher in chain of command that Colon was selling the vaccines outside of work.

. . .

Damiano, a 17-year veteran, is under investigation. He was deployed to California to aid in the pandemic response as a member of the National Disaster Medical System. Judd said he expected to arrest Damiano upon his return home, possibly later Tuesday. 

Former Hospital Employee Pleads Guilty to Destroying Moderna Vaccine

The U.S. Justice Department released a statement on January 26, 2021, announcing that Steven Brandenberg, 46, agreed to plead guilty to two counts of attempting to tamper with consumer products with reckless disregard for the risk that another person will be placed in danger of death or bodily injury.

Brandenberg was accused of intentionally sabotaging hundreds of doses of the Moderna vaccine at Wisconsin’s Advocate Aurora Health Hospital, where he worked as a pharmacist.

Each count of tampering carries a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison.

As detailed in the court documents, while working as a hospital pharmacist in Grafton, Wisconsin, on two successive overnight shifts in late December, Brandenburg purposefully removed a box of COVID-19 vaccine vials manufactured by Moderna—which must be stored at specific cold temperatures to remain viable—from the hospital’s refrigeration unit intending to render the vaccines inert and no longer effective. According to the plea agreement, Brandenburg stated that he was skeptical of vaccines in general and the Moderna vaccine specifically. Brandenburg had communicated his beliefs about vaccines to his co-workers for at least the past two years.

After leaving the vaccines out for several hours each night, Brandenburg returned the vaccines to the refrigerator to be used in the hospital’s vaccine clinic the following day. Before the full extent of Brandenburg’s conduct was discovered, 57 people received doses of the vaccine from these vials.

“Tampering with vaccine doses in the midst of a global health crisis calls for a strong response, as reflected by the serious charges the United States has brought today,” said Acting Assistant Attorney General Brian Boynton of the Department of Justice’s Civil Division. “The Department of Justice will continue to work with its law enforcement partners to ensure the public receives safe and effective vaccines.”

Data Emerging about Effect of Israel’s Vaccination Effort

Israel currently leads the world in per-capita COVID-19 vaccination by a wide margin. As of this writing, Israel has administered 46.7 doses per 100 people, compared to second-place United Arab Emirates at 27.1 doses per 100 population. The United States, in comparison, has only administered 7.1 doses per 100 people.

Initial reports from Israel suggest the vaccine is preventing both new infections and new hospitalizations.

A preliminary study by Israeli HMO Maccabi showed that only 20 people out of 128,600 who received both shots of the Pfizer vaccine had become infected with COIVD-19. None of those cases were severe enough to require hospitalization.

According to Maccabi’s experts this is preliminary data but the numbers are very encouraging,” Maccabi said in a statement.

“Maccabi reports that out of the 20 people infected, 50% suffer from chronic illnesses. All patients experienced a mild illness with symptoms including headaches, cough, weakness or fatigue. No-one was hospitalized or suffered from a fever above 38.5C. Most patients tested for COVID-19 due to exposure to a verified patient,” it said.

All Four Nurses in Coffey County, Kansas Health Department Refuse to Administer COVID-19 Vaccines

This is shameful.

The woman speaking without a mask is Coffee County, Kansas, Health Department administrator Lindsay Payer informing the Coffey County Board of Commissioners that they will have to pay to hire contract nurses to administer the COVID-19 vaccine because all four of the county’s nurses refused to do so.

Payer herself spreads misinformation about the virus, comparing it to colds and the flu.

She outright lies when she claims that the vaccine was only studied in 45 people before it was approved. She is referring to the small Phase 2 study that Moderna did of its vaccine, which involved 45 people and found that the vaccine provoked an immune response in all the subjects who were given it.

That result was used to justify going forward with a Phase 3 study that began on July 27, 2020, and involved 30,000 people.

I’d be concerned if I had a relative living in Coffey County, Kansas, knowing this idiot was in charge of the County Health Department.

Public employees like Payer who do not want to do their jobs should be fired and replaced with people who will.

How the US Screwed Up Its Vaccine Rollout

The US rollout of the COVID-19 vaccine has not gone well. As of this post’s writing, the United States has only administered 3.71 doses of vaccine per 100 people.

Israel currently leads the world at 29.43 vaccine doses administered per 100 people, and even the United Kingdom is at 6.65 doses administered per 100 people.

Writing for Business Insider, Aylin Woodward suggests that US health officials spent too much time creating complex prioritization schedules to determine who could be vaccinated. Those rules, in turn, have created uncertainty and hesitancy on the part of health care providers who, in some cases, have destroyed vaccines rather than risk administering them to the “wrong” people.

Experts like Dr. Peter Hotez, a molecular virologist from Baylor College of Medicine in Texas, also argue that the complicated CDC guidelines of which Americans should have priority access, and when, have scuttled the US’s vaccination efforts.

“A massive vaccination campaign won’t work with our current fussy and intricate criteria for who gets a shot and when,” Hotez wrote in a piece for The Washington Post Monday.

Instead of hiring ethics experts to create Byzantine rules on who should get the vaccine first, the US should have hired logistics experts to create a plan to get the vaccine administered as fast as possible nationwide.