Here’s Where Retail and Entertainment Are Headed With Vaccine ROllout

2 min read | Olivia Greene

The release of the COVID-19 vaccine on December 11, 2020 has taken our nation by storm. The supply chain is struggling to keep up with the rate of production in order to roll out the vaccine to as many Americans as quickly as possible. The FDA has authorized the use of two COVID-19 vaccines, Moderna and Pfizer. Many of America’s hospitals and senior care homes have gained access to the vaccine to administer to long term care patients and staff who are at a higher risk of contracting the virus, but many average joes are wondering when they will be able to receive the vaccine.

Each state is currently responsible for its own distribution of the vaccine to its residents. There are many logistical challenges associated with this process including finding space to store a large quantity of vaccinations, keeping doses at the perfect temperature while in transit and storage, and administering both shots after a strict 2-week time window.

What does this mean for consumers?

Many are anxious to receive the vaccine so we can return to our normal lives, but can we expect to be completely back to normal in the coming months now that many Americans are receiving the vaccine? Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease, Dr. Anthony Fauci, says that in order to achieve significant herd immunity, 75-80 percent of the population needs to be vaccinated in the second quarter of this year, and we can reach the herd immunity threshold in the months following. If we vaccinate any less than that percentage, Dr. Fauci says it could take even longer.

According to the New York Times, the vaccines do a great job of preventing the virus, but it is unclear how they will slow the spread of the disease. Therefore, consumers can still expect to wear masks as we’re shopping, even after receiving the vaccine. Health experts are still concerned that asymptomatic people can silently spread the disease to unvaccinated people if we stop wearing masks.

There is some hope for live entertainment, however. Dr. Fauci is hopeful that if we reach the threshold for herd immunity, that live concerts will be able to return in the fall. According to Miami Herald, Dr. Fauci suggested that venues provide proof of vaccination. He also believes that there could still be a mask requirement, especially for indoor settings that are at full seating capacity.

Curbside pickup has skyrocketed during the pandemic and companies like DoorDash and GrubHub are thriving. Curbside pickup and grocery delivery services also helped to control the pandemic, and these convenient services may be here to stay. Each state has different rules in place regarding indoor dining and restaurant capacity, but if COVID numbers are steadily decreasing with the administering of the vaccine, restaurants will hopefully be open for full capacity again towards the end of this year.

We may begin to see some normalcy by the fall of 2021, but masks could very well still be in use as room capacities begin to increase.

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