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As More Americans Get Vaccinated, When Will Things Get Back To 'Normal?'


Monday, April 12, 2021

As the COVID-19 vaccine rollout continues, President Biden says every adult in the U.S. will be eligible for a vaccine by April 19. So far, about one-fifth of Americans are fully vaccinated, and about one-third have received at least one dose.

But when do things get back to “normal?” As more Americans become vaccinated, new questions are emerging.

Some health experts argue “vaccine passports” are key to normalcy. As a smartphone app or a physical document, it could serve as proof of vaccination and grant access to things like sporting arenas or airplanes. But not everyone approves — the governors of Florida and Texas have preemptively banned vaccine passports.

And what, exactly, can you do once you are fully vaccinated? Will variants throw a wrench into the country’s move toward normalcy? As new cases are on the rise in some states, is there a fourth wave on the horizon?

We sit down with public health experts to get an update on how COVID-19 vaccines are stymying the pandemic in some ways — but opening a can of worms in others.


Gibbie Harris, public health director for Mecklenburg County

Hannah Smoot, reporter for the Charlotte Observer

Michael Thompson, associate professor of public health sciences at UNC Charlotte

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Dante Miller is a community engagement producer for WFAE and a Report for America (RFA) Corps members. Dante first joined WFAE in 2020 through RFA to work as part of a unique partnership with the Charlotte Mecklenburg Library and Digital Public Library of America. Her work in that project allowed her to use radio, online stories, Wikipedia entries and events to meet the community's news and information needs.
Jesse Steinmetz is Producer of Charlotte Talks with Mike Collins. Before joining WFAE in 2019, he was an intern at WNPR in Hartford, Connecticut and hosted a show at Eastern Connecticut State University.