When NYC Vaccinated 5 Million People In Two Weeks

The New York Times has a very moving article about New York City's Smallpox scare of 1947, and how the city rose to the occasion, vaccinating more than 5 million people in 2 weeks and 6.5 million people in under a month.

Smallpox was thought to have been eradicated. Even thought most New Yorkers had already been vaccinated it , when the announcements of the first deaths came, they lined up again.

The response was so great that the city enlisted thousands of civilian volunteers to help deliver inoculations. Armed with vials of vaccine, the volunteers, along with professional health care providers, administered as many as eight doses per minute. Making their way through every school in the city, they inoculated 889,000 students. In the first two weeks, five million New Yorkers were vaccinated against smallpox.

The final result: There were a total of 12 infections and two deaths. A catastrophe was avoided. [More...]

Why this hasn't happened with Covid?

....the public’s distrust of government, science and the media.

“We’re coming out of a train wreck of messaging,” Dr. Redlener said. “We’ve learned that politics is poison to a public health initiative, especially during a crisis. Honesty and straightforward, clear messaging are absolutely critical.”

For which I'd say the blame lies with Donald Trump, the ineffective, incompetent, narcissistic man incapable of leading or telling the truth. As a result of his divisiveness and reliance on false facts, while hoisted on the petard of the alternate reality he lives in, it will be a decade if not longer before Americans once again trust and believe their elected officials. As for trusting the media's messaging, that may even take longer. It seems like ever since Trump got a desk in the oval office, the line between news and opinion articles has become increasingly blurred.

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    RIP Leslie West. (5.00 / 2) (#10)
    by Chuck0 on Wed Dec 23, 2020 at 04:57:13 PM EST
    Guitarist best known for Mississippi Queen with Mountain. He also played with Jack Bruce in West, Bruce and Laing.

    I will put up an open thread (5.00 / 2) (#11)
    by Jeralyn on Wed Dec 23, 2020 at 09:42:25 PM EST
    for this and other topics.

    1947 (none / 0) (#1)
    by CaptHowdy on Tue Dec 22, 2020 at 02:27:35 PM EST
    Right after the west had defeated fascism.  

    It was a different world.   The American Dream might have been available to far to few but as a country we were able to have shared goals.  Even if it was largely an out growth of jingoistic nationalism.   It came in handy for fighting a pandemic.

    Now fascism is domestic   Sucks for unity.  

    Fascism? (none / 0) (#2)
    by Abdul Abulbul Amir on Tue Dec 22, 2020 at 04:30:03 PM EST
    Try that mass inoculation today and you would be buried in TRO's.

    I (none / 0) (#3)
    by FlJoe on Tue Dec 22, 2020 at 05:01:38 PM EST
    think that's the point, whether it was fascism or a deadly disease, Americans were able to unite against a common enemy. Not so much anymore.

    I was a recipient of the mass polio vaccination (5.00 / 2) (#4)
    by CaptHowdy on Tue Dec 22, 2020 at 05:50:46 PM EST
    After mass inoculations began in 1954, everyone marveled at the high success rate-some 60-70 percent-until the vaccine caused a sudden outbreak of some 200 cases. After it was determined that the cases were all caused by one faulty batch of the vaccine, production standards were improved, and by August 1955 some 4 million shots had been given. Cases of polio in the U.S. dropped from 14,647 in 1955 to 5,894 in 1956, and by 1959 some 90 other countries were using Salk's vaccine.  


    I was in elementary school.  First grade in 1956.  I started school at 5.  Shrug.  I remember how universal the idea of becoming vaccinated was.  At least in my little corner of the world.  
    I even remember the story about the "bad batch".  It was understood and dismissed as what it was.  A fluke.

    I was just trying to imagine my parents or the parents of my friends raving about it being a hoax.  Can't do it.


    Parents were terrified (5.00 / 1) (#5)
    by MO Blue on Tue Dec 22, 2020 at 08:14:49 PM EST
    That their children would get polio after seeing children in those iron lungs and hobbling around on crutches.

    While children not being the prime victims of COVID is a good thing, IMO being able to falsely sell this as something that only threatens the lives of old, sick people hindered a more positive community response.


    Not anymore (none / 0) (#6)
    by CaptHowdy on Tue Dec 22, 2020 at 08:29:31 PM EST
    The community (none / 0) (#7)
    by KeysDan on Tue Dec 22, 2020 at 09:08:20 PM EST
    response may have also been hindered  with emergence of racial and ethnic data incidence.

    Yes (none / 0) (#8)
    by MO Blue on Tue Dec 22, 2020 at 09:25:13 PM EST
    That is probably a significant variable.

    Yes (5.00 / 1) (#9)
    by Zorba on Wed Dec 23, 2020 at 11:55:15 AM EST
    I was in third grade.  We lined up at school to get the vaccine.
    I can also remember seeing pictures of people in iron lungs.  That scared the sh!t out of most people, as well it should have.

    Headline (none / 0) (#12)
    by CaptHowdy on Thu Dec 24, 2020 at 10:57:41 AM EST
    From your link (5.00 / 3) (#13)
    by MO Blue on Thu Dec 24, 2020 at 12:24:25 PM EST
    House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said in a statement after her party's measure failed that she would hold a full recorded vote on the proposal for $2,000 payments on Monday.

    "If the President is serious about the $2,000 direct payments, he must call on House Republicans to end their obstruction," Pelosi said.

    Democrats have called on Trump to sign the coronavirus relief and government funding bill into law and to support the separate cash payment plan.

    IMO, Dems are playing the hand Trump gave them very well. Republicans are very definitely the bad guys in this.