Covid-19 Vaccinations in Florida – January 16

I got my first dose of the vaccination on January 14, 2021. I live in Miami, Florida. The big challenge was getting an appointment. It means one has to type very fast the moment appointments open up. Every second counts. I used the portal set up by Miami-Dade County.  I knew when the appointment portal was going to be open based on my online subscription to the Miami Herald.

The appointment went very well. There were just 10 people waiting in front of the clinic when it open. I was asked if I had any allergies. I filled out the consent sheet, and soon after, a nurse gave me the Moderna vaccine. Very importantly, I was told to wait at least 15 minutes after the injection, before leaving the clinic in case there were any side effects. I felt some slight side effects including dryness in my mouth. This is standard operating procedure at all vaccination sites based on CDC guidelines.

Now, I am concerned about my second dose. I was given a card that stated I needed to take the second dose on February 11, exactly 28 days after this first dose. They said they will contact me by email and tell me at what time to return.

Although they already had my email address through the first reservation, they asked me to write it down again. This isn’t good because transcription errors (from handwriting to the computer) can result. When I I made the first appointment, the email address is typed in and  then repeated back in the confirmation notice. Most likely, the first appointment scheduling system makes some quick checks on the address validity. It appears that the scheduling system for the first and second appointments are not well linked together.

The Washington Post reported last night there was no reserved stockpiles for second doses. It looks bad. Data from the Florida Department of Health, based on the entire state are not encouraging:

So, right now 66% of all first dose people made it back to their second dose on time and 34% so far have not.   The 61,151 vacinees (those who got vaccinated)  who were on time for their final shot on Jan 12, would have been injected on December 22, 2020, with the Pfizer vaccine with a 3 week interval.  Unlikely, it was Moderna, because the EUA approval for this vaccine came on December 18.   

I believe the overdue percent is rising, because people aren’t receiving timely appointments to return to the clinics.  If the supply isn’t enough to cover both new and returning residents, who do you chose to vaccinate?  It looks right now, it’s about 9:1 on the new rather than returning, in rough numbers. so, around 50,000 to 70,00 new doses, and to the 7,000 to 9,000 second doses.   In terms of who is getting the second doses right now, it’s mostly in the age group between 16 to 64 years old (around 25% complete), rather than the 64 years old plus group (1 to 2% complete).  I think this is due to the fact that when the Pfizer vaccine first came out, it went to many medical professionals and first responders.   

Supply is the problem, and deciding who to give priority to is a very vexing question.   Our governor pitched a “Seniors First” program, and the Food and Drug Administration decided not to stockpile additional vaccines for the second doses.  There are approximately 500,000 people over 65 years of age, who in the next four weeks or less, will need their second shot, based on the latest DOH statistics.  Adding a lot of locations where one can be receive injections, doesn’t help when the supply is the limiting factor.  We need to add new refrain to the old song, “Yes, we have no bananas, we have no bananas today” which goes, “Yes, we have no bananas, and yes, we have many more fruit stands today.”

How much risk is there if they don’t get the second shot?   Without a second dose, people do not have maximum protection from the vaccine.  The second shot is added insurance that there is s sufficient immune response.    I suspect there is a tendency for people to engage in more risky activities – like travel, get social events and go out to eat once they have the first shot.  And that can worsen the spread. 

Stay tuned,

Dave

Links:

Vaccine reserve was exhausted when Trump administration vowed to release it, dashing hopes of expanded access

Washington Post article of January 15 – I hope non-subscribers can open it although the title pretty much summaries the article.

FL DOH  Covid-19 Vaccine Report

This link will only provide the most recent link.    Everyday, the DOH overwrites the prior report with a new one.  We will maintain copies of all reports. I will be adding a new page with all Florida reports. 

 

Going Forward

Thirteen days to go. Time to fix windows and doors and get the Capital ready for January 20, 2021 inauguration day. I want no impeachment inquiry or silly talk of removing Trump by the 25th Amendment. The future of our country is with good leaders from both the Republican and Democrat parties, and this kind of talk is divisive and unproductive.

Some fine Republicans made excellent speeches of how it was high time to acknowledge the winner of the 2020 election because the people had chosen. Mitt Romney rose to the occasion with the simple words of “Let’s tell the people the truth.”

The first three priorities of 2021 must be Covid vaccine, Covid vaccine and Covid vaccine – in that order. Vaccines are the only way out of the health crisis. I live in Florida, and a new virulent strain of Covid-19 is gaining strength. I’ve spend every day searching a place I can make an appointment for a Covid-19 vaccine.

In Florida, I should have priority as I am over 70 years old. But I’m finding it impossible to make an appointment for a vaccination.

Miami-Dade County: Registration is currently closed. Please check back periodically as additional vaccines become available.

Jackson Hospital: We have booked more than 12,000 vaccine appointments. Currently all of our COVID-19 vaccination appointment slots have been filled, and we are not taking any new appointments at this time. Please return to this page routinely for ongoing updates as we receive additional vaccines.

I’ve read the same message for over a week. No Appointments!

Remember how we were promised that 20 million doses by the end of December would be administered in the US. The latest numbers from CDC are that of the 17.3 million doses shipped, only 5.3 million doses have received their first shot. I’m really afraid it is about to get worse, as availability of appointments could drop in half as the returnees for the second shots are given priority.

This should be treated as a national emergency. Donald Trump leaves in 13 days, with a disastrous vaccine rollout program. I am glad that Operation Warp Speed contributed 1.3 billion dollars to AstraZeneca, to produce the best vaccine available. We should be moving heaven and earth to get at least some of their vaccine in the US.

Stay tuned,

Dave

Truth matters

Each year, Politifact singles out a lie or false narrative as its lie of the year. The “award” goes to a statement, or a collection of claims, that prove to be of substantive consequence in undermining reality. Truth does matter.

“The death of democracy is not likely to be an assassinations from ambush. It will be a slow extinction from apathy, indifference, and undernourishment.” Robert Maynard

I think this country, the undernourishment is closer to ignorance. Real news and facts are out there in abundance. Nobody has to look far to get the facts. Democracy depends on an informed population.

Donald Trump record of lies far exceeds any past president. In the last 4 years, our president has averaged approximately 50 lies per day. By July 2020, the Washington Post had counted over 20,000 lies from Trump. It was like he was incapable of stating known facts. I am very glad our Liar in Chief will be gone on January 20, 2021.

The 2020 Lie of the Year, as awarded by Politifact, is really a long series of false narratives which Trump has promoted from the January 2020 until today. Trump has downplayed, denied and deceive the public on basic facts of Covid-19. The world has suffered 1.6 million deaths and the US has the highest death toll of 330,000.

Fox News commentary and Facebook posting are part of the problem. Facebook bloggers can target their audience. Trump tried to politicize the epidemic as much as possible, calling it the “China virus” and pulling out of the World Health Organization because he considered this organization to be pro-China.

Hopefully we have elected a new president which will see the real issue is world health. I am so hoping that 2021 is the year the world gets vaccinated.

Truth matters. There is outstanding solid reporting of real problems from the New York Times, Washington Post and others. Politifact and other fact checking websites provide a very valuable service in validating statements of officials.

See links below.

Stay tuned,

Dave

Links:

Lie of the Year 2020: Coronavirus downplay and denial

People can suggest their favorite lie of 2020 to Politifact

Lie of the Year 2019: Donald Trump’s claim whistleblower got Ukraine call ‘almost completely wrong’

Readers’ poll #1 in 2019: There has never been, ever before, an administration that’s been so open and transparent.” Donald Trump

Getting poked

I may post this a few times. Count your blessings – a Covid-19 vaccine is coming. Just stay safe until then.

It’s day 1 in the UK. Pfizer vaccine is approved on an emergency basis in the UK. Don’t expect anything drastic to happen in the next couple of months. A few million UK citizens vaccinated out of 67 million isn’t going to change much. People can get poked and still get the virus. It was never considered to be 100% effective. Some vaccines are only 50% effective. This one appears to be in the range of 90 to 95% effective, which as vaccines go, is excellent.

I’ll be first in line when the Covid-19 vaccine is available. I love to travel. I love to get a bit of my routine back, going to the gym, eating out, and getting together with friends and family. I am doing all of the above in 2021, as soon as I get poked. First trip I take will be to visit close relatives.

When available, don’t delay! The scientists have pulled off a freaking miracle in getting this vaccine this quickly. I congratulate every single organization involved, including Trump’s Operation Warp Speed headed by General Perna, with Scientific Advisor Moncel Slaoui. I’ve been extremely impressed on how they are getting down to the details of a massive vaccine program. In today’s news, ex-Presidents Bush, Clinton and Obama have volunteered to encourage Americans to get poked. Many more on all levels will be rolling up their sleeves.

Personally, when it’s my turn, I planning to post my injection on my Facebook page and of course, on this website.

If you don’t care about getting Covid-19, then just look around you. Do you want to pass it on to your friends and family? Just as I wear a mask to protect others, I’m getting poked so I’m not the one spreading Covid. So it’s that simple: Protect yourself and at the same time, protect others who haven’t been vaccinated.

To those who love conspiracies as they connect the dots that don’t exist, I’ve seen it all before. As Archie Bunker used to say to Edith, “Just stow it!” because the vaccine is the real thing, and we as Americans ought to taking full advantage of a way out of the Covid-19 pandemic. Too many people have passed before their time, and I want this nightmare to end.

There’s light at the end of the tunnel. We have to all go in the right direction for this to work. At least for the very short time it takes to get poked. Or it more likely poked twice, if a booster is needed.

And as we get vaccinated, so will the rest of the world. I am so hoping that 2021 will be the year the world defeats Covid-19 with billions of people getting vaccinated.

Stay safe and take preventative measures until then. Please.

Stay tuned,

Dave

Links:

Operation Warp Speed

Former Presidents Obama, Bush and Clinton volunteer to get coronavirus vaccine publicly to prove it’s safe

Why was the UK first to authorize a coronavirus vaccine?

Getting rid of Trump

Joe Biden won the election with 306 electoral votes. Donald Trump is obstructing the normal transition in every way possible. This has never been done before.

Either its obstruction or apathy, but never the cooperation needed to transition to a Biden administration. As the virtual G20 meeting discussed the Covid-19 pandemic, Trump went golfing. See link below.

Trump isn’t leaving Biden much to help with Covid-19 crisis. The reason why there aren’t more bankruptcies is because the Fed has been propping up the economy with loan programs with the Treasury’s blessing. Unfortunately, the cooperation between Jay Powell, chairman of the Federal Reserves Committee and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, has broken down, in terms of renewal of emergency funds to help keep the economy going. By any measure, new cases, hospitalizations and deaths, the Covid-19 pandemic is far worse today than at any time since it first began.

Yes – the handoff to Biden in January 2020 will come stripped of what was working. Call it Trump’s revenge. Worldwide, we just hit a new high of 11,000 people dying of Covid-19, and the president goes golfing and the Treasury Secretary restricts the Feds ability to keep our economy from collapsing.

There are limits to what Trump can do. Washington stays intact despite a vengeful president. To start the transition process, the Administrator of the GSA, Emily Murphy has to be satisfied that Joe Biden has at least 270 electoral votes to be the apparent winner of the election. I predict this will occur sometime between November 25 and December 1. The certification of all key states will be done by December 1. Georgia was certified on November 20. Michigan and Pennsylvania certify on Monday, November 23, then Nevada on Tuesday, November 24. The last two, Arizona and Wisconsin are November 30 and December 1, 2020, respectively.

A partial recount is taking place in Wisconsin in a few districts which voted heavily for Biden. It was done at Trump’s request. He’s is paying 3 million dollars to have it done with his observers in attendance. But these observers are breaking the rules, objecting to every ballot for no reason, removing their mask, sitting in chairs reserved for other parties and even picking fights. More fodder for pointless lawsuits, I’m certain. See links below.

Georgia completed its recount/audit which showed Biden won by 12,670 votes, not the around 14,000 votes. Georgia was vote was certified by the Georgia’s governor, so I would say Biden is the apparent winner of Georgia. Next Tuesday, Trump can request another recount, which will be done by high speed scanners.

On Nov 21, Trump lost his lawsuit in Pennsylvania. Judge Brann delivered a scathing rebuke to the his lawsuit for an injunction, in which the Judge said, in essence, “You have got to be kidding” by blocking certification and disenfranchising 7 million voters in Pennsylvania, so just possibly, the legislature could override the electorate. This was to be based on what some observers thought were possible violations of rules.

Lawsuits like these are paid for by citizens, who still are having trouble believing Trump lost fair and square. Trump has now either withdrawn or lost 30 lawsuits. A lawsuit is withdrawn when it is so obvious that it has no chance of succeeding, because it’s filled with duplicate claims that were already denied for lack of evidence.

If our voting machines or voter registration had been hacked or in anyway compromised, you would want the CISA (Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Agency), part of Homeland Security to back up the accusations. Christopher Krebs was appointed as the CISA Director in 2017 by Trump until he was fired on November 17, 2020 for disagreeing with Trump on massive fraud in the elections. Note that the fraud only occurred in states Trump lost by very narrow margins.

Groups which talk about counting all legal votes and election integrity, really want neither. They are looking for someway to overturn our elections, or at least discredit the 2020 election process in anyway they can. The intelligence community warned us that bad actors from Iran, China, North Korea and Russia could spread misinformation on the integrity of our electoral process, to discredit our democracy. They left out the president of the United States.

Despite all the noise and nonsense in the courts, I am hoping Administrator of the GSA will sign the appropriate document this week, as the states certify election results.

Bottom line this is the worse transition in our election history. I hope I never see this again in my lifetime.

Stay tuned,

Dave

Links:

Pro-Trump ‘voter integrity’ group that is calling Pennsylvania voters has ties to White House

Wisconsin officials: Trump observers obstructing recount

Trump fires director of Homeland Security agency who had rejected President’s election conspiracy theories

Coronavirus Cases:

Yahoo Finance: Treasury’s Mnuchin declines to extend 5 pandemic programs

Trump skipped a coronavirus meeting with G20 leaders to play golf

Biden is best for Global Problems – Part I

We have super huge global problem right now, that will need addressing immediately when the new president is sworn in. This will be one of 4 to 5 posts.

Covid-19

You first have to understand where we stand today, and make some extrapolations into the future. The first is there are 26 vaccines in Phase 2 or Phase 3 clinical testing. Of these 26, there are 11 in Phase 3 testing.

I am hopeful that early in 2021, the very best vaccine will be approved for the American people. I think what is most important is for Americans to have patience, and delays are very possible. In many states, the progress we made made by preventative actions, such as wearing masks, social distancing, avoiding indoor activities, and frequent hand washing, has been lost to counterproductive premature loosening of regulations, including re-opening of bars, clubs and restaurants and allowing large gatherings.

— Biden will lead the way with full vaccination program

Let’s assume that we get a vaccine. There will not be enough to go around for months. First in line to get vaccinated must be our medical workers and then our elderly. They must get priority. A lot of difficult decisions lie ahead. Vaccination programs can not become political. Bring in the top Republicans and Democrats in any vaccination program.

Our Surgeon General has been sidelined, as well as our public health officials. It would seem that the office of Surgeon General should be front and center.

Trump has not been honest on the progress, because it is complicated to explain, and good news is always makes people happy. He can’t let go of marketing approach to news. Spin a good story, and buyers will be coming. That’s marketing.

Biden will connect with the scientific community. I am hopeful that a vaccine will be found. At present, it looks very possible that it will require two shots, an initial one and a booster shot, a few months later.

Biden will need to convince Americans to take the vaccines. It won’t be easy, as Trump has eroded the trust in American institutions like the FBI. Justice, State and Defense, FBI, Chief of Staff and National Security Agency. Each one are cases where he fired the Department head, with extremely bitter remarks.

He had further accused the Director of the National Institute of Health, Dr. Fauci of “being a Democrat” even though Dr. Fauci had been completely apolitical his whole career.

So, Biden’s best allies are medical professionals, the public health officials of every state, and Republicans in Congress, who can put American’s health above everything else.

— Biden will help extend vaccinations worldwide, for the benefit of all

We have to take a leadership role in the vaccination of 7.8 billion people in the world. This means working with the World Health Organization and other countries, instead of competing with them. It we miss this opportunity, China and Russia will see a golden opportunity to extend their reach into some of the poorest countries in the world, with huge promises but little in the way of deliverables.

World leadership isn’t an option. Our economy depends on the world economy. Trump has effectively pulled out of the World Health Organization and laid the blame of the virus on 1.4 billion Chinese. We must get ahead of the virus, not behind it. There are 2.8 million Chinese tourist that come to the US every year. Good relations help everyone.

— Biden will keep American’s insured

People will be getting sick and dying as experts try work out problems with vaccine formulations, manufacture and delivery. And of course, public acceptance. In the meantime, people will depend on health insurance to help them pay for their medical needs. Hospitalization stays for some individuals can be extensive, as more treatments help fight Covid-19. As we get smarter fighting the disease, the cost increases.

This is a terrible time to lose your Obamacare insurance. But that’s Trump plan and the third reason to elect Biden.

Trump and the Republican party began in 2017 a strategy to “Repeal and Replace” Obamacare. The individual mandate tax was eliminated, for two reasons: (1) It made the program less effective as fewer young people would likely sign up and (2) It made the program vulnerable to a new Supreme Court challenge. The first reason fits a Republican strategy, of after failing to come up anything better, they made Obamacare worse, so their alternative might look better. And that’s really awful.

Now, the second reason is just as terrible. Trump was always saying his plan was so much better to what we have now, but the comparisons were always bad. We’ve created “junk insurance” which gives coverage, except when it is critical and really expensive.

If you destroy what we have now, there are no more comparisons. We are no longer comparing a new building to an existing building, but to a vacant lot.

Obamacare was deemed constitutional by the Supreme Court in a narrow ruling in 2012, which included the individual mandate. So, Republicans pulled out the tax mandate, and then argued that the purposely crippled Obamacare law is now unconstitutional. So, if Trump ran a hospital, he would be giving out medicine strong enough to kill a patient and still claim he cared for people. Oral arguments will begin in November soon after the elections.

So, with Biden, Americans can have affordable insurance, which admittedly has defects. With Trump, you have recycled 2016 promises and nothing else.

Biden will:

  • Lead the way with a full vaccination program
  • Extend vaccinations assistance worldwide
  • Keep American’s insured to help with medical expenses.

In my next blog, climate change will be discussed.

Stay tuned,

Dave