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This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Mizzou chapter.

Hospitals around the United States have begun to administer vaccinations for COVID-19 for doctors, nurses and healthcare workers. As the vaccine begins to reach people outside of hospitals, society will begin to return to practices many engaged in before the pandemic. While the administering of the vaccine is something to celebrate, it is still too early to begin engaging in pre-pandemic behaviors. 

According to the COVID-19 tracker from the New York Times, the number of new COVID-19 cases have been at a slight decline since the second to last week in December. This decline could be in lue of another spike from people visiting family during Christmas, similar to the spike after Thanksgiving. It is evident through the data that the virus is spreading faster than earlier in the year when most states were closed. 

The spike in cases will likely continue to stay in the hundred thousands, seven day average for the next couple months as the vaccine slowly becomes more available to the public. As the vaccine makes its way to the public, the CDC has recommended that people at risk should be first to to receive the vaccine, while people who are younger and healthier receive the vaccine last. 

As the vaccine makes its way across the globe, safety standards should continue to stay in place to prevent any further spread of the infectious disease. Viruses have the ability to change and adapt, causing the risk of a mutated strain being immune to the vaccine. Continuing to wear masks and social distance would lower the risk of spread if there were to become a mutation. 

Regardless of the vaccination and availability to the public, continuing safety standards as the vaccine makes its way to the public would ensure a smooth and seamless transition to allow us to return back to normal in the future. 

Adrian is an undergraduate student studying journalism at the University of Missouri in Columbia, Mo.
HC Contributer Mizzou