On December 14, the first COVID-19 vaccine was administered in the U.S. in New York City to Sandra Lindsay, a Critical Care Nurse at Long Island Jewish Medical Center. The vaccine was manufactured by Pfizer, a U.S. pharmaceutical giant, in collaboration with BioNTech, a German biotechnology company. As of January 4, the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine and Moderna COVID-19 vaccine are the only vaccines authorized and recommended to prevent the virus. However, there are currently three COVID-19 vaccines in clinical trials.
The weekend prior to the first administered COVID-19 vaccines, Pfizer began shipping out its vaccines from plants in Michigan and Wisconsin. A video released by The Wall Street Journal states that trucks carried more than 500,000 doses of the vaccine which had to maintain a temperature of -94 degrees F. They arrived throughout the day on December 14, at more than 100 locations across the U.S. and nearly 500 additional locations throughout the rest of the week. Pfizer planned to deliver 2.9 million doses of the vaccine in the first week and plans to deliver 25 million doses this year. It is expected that by the end of February, there could be as many as 100 million people vaccinated in the US. All of the doses will not be distributed initially, as people who receive the shot require two doses which need to be administered three weeks apart. People who have received the shots have reported flu-like symptoms such as pain in the arm in which the shot is administered and fatigue. According to the Wall Street Journal, among the thousands vaccinated in the U.K. the previous week, two experienced severe allergic reactions.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has recommended that the vaccine be administered in phases, the first including healthcare personnel and long-term care facility (LTCF) residents. The first group includes healthcare personnel who work in a variety of healthcare settings who are at risk of direct or indirect exposure to patients or infectious materials, for example, nurses and nursing assistants, physicians, dentists, pharmacists, and administrative staff. The second group, LTCF residents, is most vulnerable to the virus. According to the CDC, by November 6, 2020, approximately 569,000-616,000 COVID-19 cases and 91,500 deaths were reported among LTCF residents and staff in the U.S., accounting for 39% of deaths nationwide. This group includes adults who reside in facilities that provide a wide range of services including medical and personal care.
In the second phase, the CDC recommends that the vaccine be administered to frontline essential workers and people aged 75 years and older. Some of these people include fire fighters, police officers, food and agricultural workers, and grocery store workers. The CDC includes people aged 75 and older in the second phase of vaccinations, as this population is at high risk of hospitalization, illness, and death from COVID-19. However, the CDC restates that people aged 75 years and older who reside in long-term care facilities still be offered the vaccination in the first phase. The final phase of vaccinations includes those who did not receive the vaccination in the first two phases: people aged 65-74 years, people aged 16-64 years with underlying medical conditions, as this increases the risk of serious health complications, and other essential workers. As vaccine availability increases, the CDC will expand its recommendations to include more groups. For more information about the COVID-19 vaccine and latest news, please visit the official CDC website.
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About The Author
Segan Falconer earned a B.A. degree in English from Colorado State University-Pueblo. She is experienced in content writing, grant writing, and press release writing and currently works as the Human Resources Assistant at Voyager Home Health Care.
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