"What more?" Biden asks. Answers to overcoming the pandemic predicament.
First, I will start by saying, I am fully vaccinated, and I did experience documented adverse reactions after both doses, so I cannot support mandates. Second, rather than re-writing other people's dissertations on the following topics, I have summarized my list in bulleted form with greater details enumerated below. You will need to research these topics yourself.
Address corruption in the pharmaceutical/government industrial complex.
Ensure equitable access to care and equitable care.
Fix the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System.
Expand mAb access and reduce age and other exclusions to treatment.
No mandates for those groups excluded from clinical trials.
Determine how long immunity lasts from infection and/or vaccination. Make useful antibody tests available.
Expand vaccine administration to healthcare providers and facilities.
Stop using herd immunity argument. Both vaccinated and unvaccinated can be infected and transmit the disease.
The cost of corruption is the toll on the public trust in government, corporations, and healthcare institutes. We now witness the exacting of that toll. The most important change that needs to take place in order to repair the broken public trust is to address political and corporate corruption in the pharmaceutical/government industrial complex. Politicians take campaign money from pharmaceutical companies. CDC, NIH, FDA, researchers, and even military leaders have been subjects of conflicting interests. They have been invested in pharmaceutical interests, receive career perks or contracts from their relationships with private industry, or promises of future grant money for research. Various scandals over the years have proven this to be an ongoing problem. Financial disclosure rules are not comprehensive, not well enforced, and there is little accountability when lapses are discovered. Likewise, pharmaceutical companies are incentivized to lie about safety data, some even select clinical trial investigators and volunteers who report fewer adverse events. This will not be the last pandemic. There is an opportunity to improve public trust before we are faced with this again.
Equitable access to healthcare and equitable care. Despite Obamacare, access to insurance does not magically confer access to care. There are disparities in the care people of color and economically disadvantaged persons receive. There are disparities in the care women receive. There are disparities in the care elderly receive. If every American cannot get a timely appointment with a doctor before or after receiving a vaccine to discuss legitimate concerns regarding potential or actual affects of vaccination, there should be no mandates. Currently, in many locales it takes months to establish as a new patient with a primary care doctor. It takes many more months to get a referral to a specialist. Access to healthcare providers is necessary for many Americans with conditions that may be exacerbated by a vaccine, and/or people who have suffered reactions from vaccines. A substantial portion of Americans already carry healthcare debt, despite having insurance. Therefore, affordability is also a barrier.
Fix the VAERS system. It is widely known, even before the pandemic, that perhaps fewer than 1% of adverse events are ever reported. The VAERS system has been malfunctioning from the start of this pandemic. The system seems to reject entered data such as lot number and then requires the entrant to go back in and enter an emailed code (that is subsequently not recognized), to enter the missing 'lot number' or other information. The fax numbers listed on the VAERS website did not pick up, in my experience. I personally phoned and mailed a hard copy of my "missing information," but still I received a call from CDC a month later saying they were missing the information. I have no faith in the data collected via the VAERS system. I have no confidence that my valid adverse event report was counted. In addition, due to the time it takes to get vaccine records collated into medical records, and the time it takes to get an appointment with a doctor, I have no faith that safety data pulled directly from medical records are representative of true numbers of adverse events experienced. Many people are still likely waiting for an appointment with a doctor, meanwhile the vaccine has already been approved.
There currently exist effective monoclonal antibody (mAb) treatments to treat COVID infections within 10 days of symptom onset. Expand the use of mAbs. Get over the fact that not everyone is going to agree to get the vaccine. There is much more acceptance of the mAb treatments among that demographic. There are drive through mAb clinics beginning now. If you really want to stop the pandemic, stop throwing money out of airplanes to save the failing economy and put it toward these treatments. Also, the treatments confer some level of immunity.
There should be no mandates for groups of people excluded or not adequately represented in clinical trials, for which there also are not adequate available data (a shortened list of which you can find at the end of this article). These people, and many more, should be able to decide after consulting with their doctors the risks and benefits of getting a vaccine. In many cases a vaccine is warranted, but because these people have special circumstances, they should be given the benefit of the doubt if they don't want a vaccine.
Determining how long immunity may last from infection or vaccine is paramount to understanding if and when sero-prevalent people need a vaccine, and if and when vaccinated people need a booster. No mandates should be required until a means independent of verification of long-term immunity can be determined, preferably available to the public. There are antibody tests on the market that can determine if someone has neutralizing antibodies. An adequate level of immunity needs to be established before we can determine when someone who was previously infected needs a vaccine, and/or to determine how long a vaccine confers adequate immunity. The most widely available antibody tests do not test for immune memory (long-term immunity) in cells stored in bone marrow or free floating in serum. Prioritize approval of these tests. Without them doubt will persist as to the effectiveness of the vaccines.
Allow people to receive the vaccine under the supervision and care of their doctors. Expand vaccine administration to healthcare facilities. People with legitimate concerns need to be able to get the vaccine under the supervision of someone other than a volunteer pharmacy student.
Stop using herd immunity as an argument - it's inaccurate and contentious. Both unvaccinated and vaccinated have proven to be carriers and able to spread the disease. Though smaller numbers than unvaccinated, an ever increasing number of vaccinated are testing positive and even requiring hospitalization.
Some excluded from clinical trials may have included: pregnant women, children, people with autoimmune diseases (treated or untreated), connective tissue diseases, history of allergic diseases, history of anaphylaxis to any vaccine or ingredient, people on immuno-suppressants, people with cancer or bleeding disorders, people on anticoagulants, people with a history of blood clots, people who have clinically significant chronic cardiovascular, endocrine, gastrointestinal, hepatic (including hepatitis B and C), renal, neurological, respiratory, psychiatric or other medical disorders.