US health workers start getting COVID-19 vaccine

US health workers start getting COVID-19 vaccine
Sandra Lindsay, left, a nurse at Long Island Jewish Medical Center, is inoculated with the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine. Source: AP Photo
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Daily US Times: The largest vaccination campaign in US history started Monday as health workers in selected hospitals rolled up their sleeves for shots to protect them from Covid-19 and start beating back the notorious pandemic — a day of optimism even as the country’s death toll neared 300,000.

Critical case nurse Sandra Lindsay said after getting a shot: “I feel hopeful today. Relieved.”

Shipments of precious frozen vials of vaccine made by US pharmaceutical giant Pfizer Inc. and its German partner BioNTech began arriving at hospitals across the nation Monday.

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo said as he watched Lindsay’s vaccination via video: “This is the light at the end of the tunnel. But it’s a long tunnel.”

Several other countries also have approved the vaccine, including the United Kingdom, which started vaccinating last week.

For health workers who, along with nursing home residents, will be first in line to get vaccinated, hope is tempered by grief and the sheer exhaustion of months spent battling the coronavirus pandemic that still is surging in the US and around the world.

Dr. Chris Dale of Swedish Health Services in Seattle said: “This is mile 24 of a marathon. People are fatigued. But we also recognize that this end is in sight.”

Packed in dry ice to stay at ultra-frozen temperatures, the first of nearly 3 million doses of the vaccine being shipped in staggered batches this week made their way by truck and by plane across the country Sunday from Pfizer’s Kalamazoo, Michigan, factory.

Once the vaccines arrive at distribution centers, each state directs where the doses go next.

You may read: Top US government officials to get early vaccine access