Every weekday evening, our editors guide you through the biggest stories of the day, help you discover new ideas, and surprise you with moments of delight. Subscribe to get this delivered to your inbox.
Welcome to vaccine purgatory.
“We’ve spent 2020 adjusting to a pandemic normal, and now a strange, new period is upon us,” my colleague Sarah Zhang, who covers vaccines, notes in her latest.
Thus the waiting begins. There are a few things you should know about this new phase of the outbreak. Here are four, as explained by Sarah:
1. We don’t know how long this purgatory will last.
Operation Warp Speed officials have laid out an aggressive timeline to get nearly all Americans vaccinated by June, but this presumes several pieces going perfectly.
2. It may matter where you live.
3. Decisions are still being made about who will get what when.
The decisions still being made about how to prioritize vaccines will dramatically color individual people's experiences over the next months. But ultimately getting out of purgatory will require reaching herd immunity, which is something we can only achieve collectively.
4. Plans to vaccinate the general public remain fuzzy.
When vaccines become available to the general public depends on a few unknowns. First, how many other vaccine candidates, like AstraZeneca’s and Johnson & Johnson’s, will actually also get authorized?