LOVELAND, CO – With the NY Times reporting that the first people in the U.S. (outside of clinical trials) will receive vaccinations today, Dec. 14, it feels like history. In 1955, Americans received the polio vaccine, and no doubt that was a major relief, albeit for different reasons.
In 2020, the vaccine comes after a polarizing election and a social media maelstrom of competing ideas. And yet, vaccines are something we all (mostly) can rally around. Looking ahead, the distribution and administration of these vaccines is a massive effort and will require all the resources we can muster. Part of that effort includes community pharmacies throughout the United States.
I had the opportunity to speak with officials at the National Community Pharmacists Association (NCPA) last week about efforts to ensure that independent pharmacies would be part of the vaccination program. Fortunately they will, because we don’t have the luxury of leaving arrows in the quiver. People are dying every day, often in isolation, and it adds up to a lot of suffering.
On the economic side, we’ve all felt the pain. Surely within the trade show business, the virus has done us no favors. We managed to get in the March 3-5 Medtrade Spring (now Medtrade West) just before it all went south. Little did we know.
Let’s hope this virus is a once in a generation blip. If it’s not, let’s hope we have learned valuable lessons about how to deal with a potentially worse pathogen down the line. Time will tell, but we live this life day to day—and today is a good day indeed.
Greg Thompson is editor of Medtrade Monday.