COVID-19 vaccine shipments begin in historic US effort

COVID-19 vaccine shipments begin in historic US effort
A truck loaded with the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine leaves the Pfizer Global Supply Kalamazoo manufacturing plant in Portage, Mich., Sunday, Dec. 13, 2020. Source: AP Photo
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Daily US Times: The first shipments of trucks carrying a coronavirus vaccine for widespread use in the US pulled out of a Michigan manufacturing facility on Sunday. The shots are very critical to stopping the country’s coronavirus outbreak destined to reach states a day later.

Shipments of the Pfizer vaccine, co-developed by German partner BioNTech, will set in motion the biggest vaccination effort in the history of America at a critical juncture of the pandemic that has killed 1.6 million and sickened 71 million worldwide.

About 3 million doses were expected to be sent out initially, and the priority is nursing home residents and health care workers as infections, hospitalizations and deaths soar in the US With numbers likely to get worse over the holidays, the vaccine is offering a bright spot in the fight against the Covid pandemic that’s killed nearly 300,000 Americans.

Federal officials say the first shipments of the vaccine will be staggered, arriving in 145 distribution centers on Monday, with an additional 425 sites getting shipments on Tuesday, and the remaining 66 on Wednesday. The vaccine is being doled out based on each state’s adult population.

Pennsylvania health care giant UPMC has chosen staff who are critical to operating its facilities as among those getting the first round of vaccinations, said Dr. Graham Snyder, who led the center’s vaccine task force.

Snyder said Saturday: “It’s very exciting. I will be thrilled, that moment when we administer our first dose. That will clearly be a watershed moment for us.”

Snyder said the UPMC system estimates that half its employees are willing to get the covid vaccine as soon as it’s offered to them.

You may read: US Covid vaccinations to begin on Monday