With the greenlight of the FDA’s emergency use authorization, Pfizer/BioNTech coronavirus vaccines will be sent out to hundreds of facilities across the United States this week.
“We expect 145 sites across all the states to receive the vaccine on Monday, another 425 sites on Tuesday, and the final 66 sites on Wednesday, which will complete the initial delivery of the Pfizer orders for the vaccine,” said Gen. Gustave Perna, chief operating officer of the federal government’s vaccine initiative Operation Warp Speed.
The vaccine is being shipped from Pfizer’s facility in Kalamazoo, Michigan.
The US Food and Drug Administration granted approval Friday for the drug company’s Covid-19 vaccine candidate, a move that director of the FDA’s Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research said “holds the promise to alter the course of this pandemic.”
A grim death toll and record high hospitalizations: As of early Sunday, more than 16 million people have been infected by the virus in the United States and 297,837 people have died, according to data from Johns Hopkins University. Hospitalizations hit record highs for the seventh day in a row Saturday, and with the winter holidays still ahead, experts warn that the pandemic could continue to worsen before the larger public receives the vaccination.
Vaccine hesitancy could undermine Covid-19 response: American Medical Association President Dr. Susan Bailey said in a statement Saturday the biggest obstacle to the vaccine is people’s willingness to be vaccinated.
“To be clear, these vaccines will reduce death and severe illness. They have been rigorously evaluated, and if enough of us roll up our sleeves and get vaccinated, we can eventually reclaim normalcy,” she said.
Advisers to the CDC have recommended that health care workers and long-term care facility residents be first in line to get the injection.
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