Citi Field’s massive parking lots were virtually empty late Monday afternoon when a Chronicle staffer arrived for his first dose of the Covid-19 vaccine, with just a clutch of cars parked around the entrance to the Jackie Robinson Rotunda. There was no crowding inside and the line to get the shot had only about a dozen people and moved quickly. The process was silky smooth.
But we’d love to see more cars outside those doors, more people riding the escalators, more nurses and other staffers moving many more people through the process. All we need for that is more vaccine. And it’s coming. Partly through the Biden administration’s use of the Defense Production Act, building upon the groundwork laid by the Trump administration’s Operation Warp Speed, the companies producing the vaccines are ramping up production. President Biden says there should be enough available for every adult in the country to be inoculated by the end of May, and we may get close to that even sooner. Sen. Chuck Schumer said on Tuesday that within a month, the federal government will be streamlining the process enough so that anyone will be able to get the shots — no more restrictions based on where you work, where you live, how healthy you are or whether you are a senior citizen. That’s great news! And it’s also great news that Schumer’s aides clarified his misstatements about how the federal government will be “taking over” vaccines. Continued partnerships among federal, state and local governments and the private sector are what’s needed. Getting more shots to Citi Field doesn’t mean taking them away from Walgreens.
Every year, April brings Tax Day. This year, let it also bring Vax Day, for anyone who hasn’t gotten a first dose by then. We all look forward to a summer of much more normalcy than we’ve seen in a year. Even better if it were to get underway while it’s still spring.