You’ve heard all about the vaccine-skeptical. Well, let us introduce you to a new pandemic-era persona: the vaccine-jealous. And we’re here to confess that we are  members of this ethically righteous tribe.

The indoctrinating incidents occurred last week, when two people close to me (Larry, that is) received their first round of shots. One is a psychologist who has seen approximately three patients in person since March, while the other is a veterinarian who treats pups and parakeets.

Now, outside the parental realm, I’m nobody’s idea of essential. I work from home without incident – at least on the days there isn’t an eight-Zoom pileup on the Wi-Fi interstate – and have no needs that should push me within three zip codes of the front of the line. “Can’t get favorite Texas wiener” is a bummer, not a hardship or a chronic condition.

That said, I can’t help but envy the people who have already received the vaccine, especially those whose situations aren’t that different from my own. They followed the rules and I’d probably have done the same thing if I were them. It still stinks.

Today’s Haymarket Media Coronavirus Briefing is 1,809 words and will take you eight minutes to read. 

The administrators and the administration

Has anyone stopped to consider just how many people are involved in the vaccination push? There are physicians and pharmacists and nurses, yes, but there are also registration website coders and vaccination site coordinators and the poor souls stuck manning the phones. It’s a mobilization effort unlike any other, which might be why we’re having such trouble getting it up to speed.

The takeaway: The essential dilemma here, as The New York Times’ Shira Ovide points out in “The Problem With Vaccine Websites” is that “no one has ever run a vaccine campaign on this scale and at this speed” and that “when government programs that have been unattended, unfunded and bogged down by red tape suddenly have to meet a huge demand in a crisis, they can’t cope and people suffer.” Just because it’s understandable doesn’t mean it’s okay.

Source: Getty

The campaigns and the campaigners

You can’t impeach a virus or reason with it. You can only attempt to present information thoughtfully and transparently, and hope your target audiences respond in kind.

The takeaway: With spread-happy COVID variants invading the country, time is of the essence. The messaging needs to continue to convey the sense of urgency the great majority of us are feeling.

Source: Getty

The surveys

Pollsters and statisticians have been working overtime these last few months. Good hustle by them.

The takeaway: It’s folly to make big-picture pronouncements about attitudes amid the country’s ongoing political stratification, but there sure seems to be a movement in recent weeks towards following the science.

Source: Getty

The resources

Got questions? You’ll find many of the answers if you avail yourself of the resources below.

  • Want to know what’s going on with COVID-19 in your backyard? Check out the cool, data-rich dashboard put together by the National Association of City and County Health Officials. The acronym is NACCHO, but you are free to pronounce it however you choose.
  • A bipartisan group of governors has unveiled a Call to Action to Defeat COVID-19 and Promote National Recovery and Renewal. Developed and released by the COVID Collaborative, the Call to Action emphasizes three needs: to provide “credible evidence-based messages from trusted messengers” on the safety and efficacy of approved vaccines and treatments; to partner with providers and community leaders in high-risk communities to build trust, address barriers to access and respond to concerns; and to use “clear, transparent, and frequent communication with the public about plans for distributing new vaccines and treatments.”
  • The National Governors Association, Covid Collaborative, and Duke Margolis Center for Health Policy have co-authored a report on Supporting an Equitable Distribution of COVID-19 Vaccine. The document includes a chapter on “Communicating with the Public and Engaging Vaccination Partners,” while the appendix includes links to all state vaccination plans.
  • The Power of Us, a campaign from the Ad Council and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, is designed to educate and empower the Black community to stop the spread of coronavirus. Black men and women are 2.6 times more likely to get COVID-19, 4.7 times more likely to be hospitalized and more than twice as likely to die from the disease.

The takeaway: Information about most every aspect of COVID and the vaccination is abundantly available. Finding it – and separating the authoritative wheat from the scammy, pseudo-scientific chaff – is the problem.

The rest

…and some songs.

A Shot in the Arm, Wilco

The Wait, Pretenders

Feel Alright, Steve Earle

Girl, You Have No Faith in Medicine, The White Stripes

Play in the Sunshine, Prince
That’s it for today’s Haymarket Media Coronavirus Briefing. Thanks for reading this and our most excellent brand spinoff, The Vaccine Project Newsletter. We’ll be back next Wednesday with the first of two weekly doses. Be well.