The first shipment of a COVID-19 vaccine for widespread use in the United States goes from Michigan to distribution centers around the country.
The shipment of the Pfizer vaccine will accelerate the vaccination effort at a turning point in the epidemic in American history, which killed 1.6 million worldwide and left 71 million sick.
Federal officials say Pfizer’s first shipment of the vaccine will be staggered, arriving at 145 distribution centers on Monday, with an additional 425 sites on Tuesday and the remaining 66 on Wednesday. The vaccines, co-developed by German partner Bioentech, are being rolled out based on the adult population of each state.
Pennsylvania health care giant UPMC has selected employees who are critical to operating its facilities among those receiving the first round of vaccinations, Drs. Said Graham Snyder, who led the center’s vaccine task force.
“It’s very thrilling. I will be thrilled, the moment when we manage our first dose.” This will obviously be a watershed moment for us. “
Snyder said that the UPMC system estimates that half of its employees are willing to get the vaccine as soon as possible.
The vaccine is going to hospitals and other sites that can keep it at extremely low temperatures – about 94 degrees below zero. Pfizer is using containers with dry ice and GPS-enabled sensors to ensure that each shipment remains colder than the weather in Antarctica.
Federal officials said that doses should be distributed to all vaccination sites identified by states, such as local pharmacies, within three weeks.
The 40-hospital Oschner Health System in Louisiana and Mississippi expects more than 9,000 doses to be received in the coming days, with hospital quality medical director Drs. Sandra Camarlee said.
He said employees approved for the first round are receiving texts and emails instructing them to schedule their initial injections.
“I would say there is excitement,” Kemer said Saturday. “There is thought that maybe they are not so afraid to come to work if they can be vaccinated and be immune.”
The rollout will ensure that there is enough vaccine to give people the two doses necessary for complete protection against COVID-19. This means that the government is withdrawing 3 million doses, which in the first round are to be vaccinated a few weeks after the second vaccination.
The Food and Drug Administration on Friday authorized the emergency use of the vaccine, saying it is highly protective and presents no major safety issues. While American regulators worked for months to emphasize the rigor and independence of their review, they faced political pressure until the final stages.
The head of the FDA has repeatedly insisted that the agency’s decision was based on science and not the politics, despite the White House threatening to fire him if the vaccine was not approved before Saturday.
Speaking to Fox News on Sunday, Operation Tana Speed’s chief science advisor, Dr. Monsep Saloi, an American attempt to develop the vaccine quickly, also said he is “very concerned” about suspicions about the vaccine in some circles.
“Unfortunately … there has been a confusion between the work and the purely scientific and factual work that has been done, and the notion that people are thinking that we cut corners or anything like that,” Saloi said. “I can guarantee you that no such thing has happened, that we follow science.”
He asked the development of the vaccine from several pharmaceutical companies, including Modern and AstraZeneca, to “work together, a remarkable achievement of science, education, the industry ecosystem, and the US government.”
While the vaccine was determined to be safe, regulators in the UK are investigating several serious allergic reactions. The FDA’s directive tells providers not to give people with a known history of severe allergic reactions to any of its ingredients.
Another vaccine by Modern will be reviewed by an expert panel next week and may soon be allowed for public use.