Dear MKE SEX,
Yes! For Christmas the U.S. of A. is getting a coronavirus vaccine! I’ve been such a good little enby during this whole thing. I stopped hooking up with randos and picked just one special someone to help me get my needs met for the last eight months. That’s been super fun (and I’ll def keep seeing this one for a while), but I’m dying to get back to my usual ways! When will it be safe for this thottie to get back to business?
Good job staying safe, and helping to keep others safe! This last year has been challenging in so many ways. The ongoing need to stifle our sexual impulses for the greater good has definitely been one of the more difficult aspects of the pandemic for many people. Lots of people are excited about the CDC’s emergency use authorization for not just one COVID-19 vaccine, but two! This is the beginning of the end, and the temptation to run into the arms (and legs?) of our friends is strong. Unfortunately we’re not quite there. The days of low-covid-risk hook-ups are still a ways away for a few different reasons.
Two pharmaceutical companies, Pfizer and Moderna, are producing and distributing COVID-19 vaccines in the United States. People started receiving the vaccines on December 14 and so far it’s going well. Both of the vaccines work the same way: by introducing a replica of the virus into the body so that the immune system is ready to fight the actual virus if it shows up. Think of it as a very high-tech wanted poster. These vaccines do not use any actual virus molecules and appear to be quite safe in the clinical trials. Like a few other routine vaccines (HPV, MMR, Polio, etc.), this one is going to take more than one dose to be effective. You’ll need two injections spaced three (for the Pfizer vaccine) or four (for the Moderna vaccine) weeks apart.
Pfizer and Moderna have been contracted to produce a total of 200 million doses for the U.S. Because we need two doses, that’s enough for 100 million people, or a little less than a third of the population. As of this writing, the U.S. is in negotiation to buy more doses from Pfizer, but no deal has been reached. Of those 200 million doses, the state of Wisconsin has been allocated approximately 185,000, meaning that about 92,000 Wisconsinites can be vaccinated in this first round. (For reference, the state of Wisconsin has a total population of 5.8 million people.)
Our state is following national guidelines regarding who gets vaccinated in what order. First up are front-line healthcare workers and first responders, then staff and residents of nursing homes and long-term care facilities, and then essential workers and educators. After all of those folks have been vaccinated, the rest of the public will be eligible. If you want to get an idea of where you fall in this process, check out this interactive guide from The New York Times.
These vaccines are excellent at keeping people from becoming very ill if they are exposed to the coronavirus. This will lower COVID-19 death rates and greatly reduce the strain on our healthcare system, both of which should help us turn the corner on the pandemic in the coming year. But we don’t have strong data yet as to whether vaccinated persons will be able to spread coronavirus if they are exposed to it and remain asymptomatic or only mildly symptomatic. It is likely that the vaccine will also be effective at reducing these types of transmissions, but we need more data to say for certain. As we roll out vaccinations, hopefully these issues will become more clear.
Given that the vaccine program is going to take a while to get to everyone, and that it may still be possible to contract and spread (an albeit milder case of) COVID-19, you are quite not out of the woods yet. None of us are.
There’s another unknown, too. Because we needed these vaccines fast-tracked, the length of their trials was shortened considerably. That means that even though we can be relatively certain of their safety and efficacy, we don’t know how long they last yet. The test subjects in the vaccine trials are still being followed for data collection, so we’ll have a better idea about this in the coming months and years. But for now, it seems likely that folks will need booster shots (maybe on a routine basis) to maintain the protection, especially if the pandemic continues.
The long and the short of it is this: You’re still going to need to wear a mask, practice social distancing, and stick to your thottie pod for your sexy time adventures well into the coming year. But please, hold on tight! We really are making big steps toward ending the pandemic.
Curious about cunnilingus? Anxious about anal? Do you have questions about queefs or problems with your prostate? Lucky Tomaszek is the education coordinator at The Tool Shed: An Erotic Boutique, Milwaukee’s only mission-driven, education-focused sex toy store. Send her an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and she’ll get back to you with an answer.