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This article was published on November 10, 2020

About that vaccine

About that vaccine

Coronavirus in Context is a weekly newsletter where we bring you facts that matter about the COVID-19 pandemic and the technology trying to stop its spread. You can subscribe here.

Hola pandemic pals!
                                    I’ve been on sabbatical for the past month, did I miss anything? Haha, but that’s not really a joke. After stepping back from news and social media during my retreat, I’m here to tell you that not much has changed in the past 30 days.

Sure, Joe Biden was elected President. And that’s certainly worth celebrating, but COVID-19 doesn’t really care that the current US leader is a lame duck. The pandemic’s getting worse every day in that country and the time between now and January 20th will be measured in lives lost. 

The rest of the world isn’t exactly having a great go of it. Denmark almost “culled” its entire population of mink (who still wears fur anyway?) and Boris Johnson’s pretty much thrown his hands up in despair as the UK deals with a resurgence the likes of which everyone could have predicted. 

But wait! There’s a vaccine now! 

I’m really sorry for this, but that doesn’t change things (for right now) as much as we’d all like to believe. Let’s turn to Ivanka Trump for details:

Sounds good right? Let’s break the numbers down a bit though.

Pfizer’s already stated that it will be able to produce “up to 50 million vaccine doses in 2020 and up to 1.3 billion doses in 2021.” 

Let’s discuss what that means in the next section. 

By the numbers

Breaking down the Pfizer vaccine numbers (sources: WHOPfizer press release)
  • Pfizer will have enough doses to vaccinate approximately 675 million people by 2022.
  • That’s approximately 9% of the world’s population.
  • The US will, initially, receive enough doses to vaccinate 50 million people.
  • That’s approximately 15% of the US population.
  • The US is receiving approximately 8% of the vaccines developed by 2022.
  • The US represents approximately 4% of the global population.
  • Herd immunity for polio requires 80% of a population to be vaccinated.
  • Herd immunity for measles requires approximately 95%.

Tweet of the week

What to read

A vaccine for some of us, A president for all of us, and seriously… who still wears fur?
? Here’s everything you need to know about the Pfizer vaccine
? Here’s a deep dive into how the vaccine works (Stat News)
? US breaches 10 Million infections, on pace for 200K daily new cases (CNN)
? The market soared on news of the vaccine (Market Watch)
? Except for video games. Those stocks crashed (The Motley Fool)
? Recovered COVID-19 patients are experiencing increased mental illness diagnosis (The Lancet)
? These brave journalists went spelunking for COVID-19 in the poop-filled sewers of New York. (The Verge)


In this little section, we’d like to discuss the tech that’s getting us through the pandemic.

Let me tell you about my sabbatical! Unfortunately I ended up pretty sick through most of it, so I spent the vast majority of it testing out subscription entertainment services (got another trial for Hulu, tried out Shudder, and finally paid for another month of PlayStation Now).

I’m currently re-binging It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia and playing old games such as GTAV and Far Cry Primal. I got really into Mass Effect 2 (again) for a couple of days during my break, but then it was all but confirmed that the remaster would be happening so I set that aside.

I also bought my fiancée some tattoo machines for her birthday (since we’re not really comfortable going to parlors during the pandemic) and that’s pretty much become a lifestyle around my house.

I’m not saying that I’ve got everything figured out… but it’s all beach life, video games, and tattoos around here.

Well, bye

The pandemic isn’t over and we’re all in this together.

The good news is that doing your part is easy peasy lemon squeezy:

1. Wear a mask.
2. Stay 2-3 meters away from others in public spaces.
3. Support government officials who take the pandemic seriously.


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