U.S. begins distributing first COVID-19 vaccines

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Photo courtesy of Marco Verch

Two companies, Pfizer and Moderna, announce significant COVID-19 vaccine advances.

By Jennie Lathrop

The long-awaited BioNtech, Fosun Pharma, Pfizer vaccine has been authorized by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Protection (CDC) for use to a small population of people. With months of study, tests and research, the first US citizen Sandra Lindsay, was given the vaccine on Dec. 14.

The vaccine has been mass-shipped around the country starting last Sunday, but with the next shipment to Massachusetts, the vaccine will be trimmed from 60,000 to 42,900 doses. This is raising suspicion of supply shortages just as vaccinations get underway. Pfizer put out a statement addressing these fears and suspicions. 

“Pfizer is not having any production issues with our COVID-19 vaccine, and no shipments containing the vaccine are on hold or delayed,” Pfizer said. “This week, we successfully shipped all 2.9 million doses that we were asked to ship by the U.S. government to the locations specified by them. We have millions more doses sitting in our warehouse but, as of now, we have not received any shipment instructions for additional doses.”

The vaccine will first be available to healthcare care workers and residents of long-term care facilities. As vaccine availability increases, vaccination recommendations will expand to include larger groups of people, like people with pre-existing health conditions who may be at a higher risk.

The CDC ensures that safety is a top priority with the vaccine and that two doses are needed in preventing COVID-19. Although it is going to be a long road to recovery, the vaccine is a huge step in the right direction.