US Begins to Administer Coronavirus Vaccine
December 14, 2020
The United States has started to administer the newly-approved coronavirus
vaccine produced by Pfizer and BioNTech.
New York State began inoculating heath care workers Monday, with critical care
nurse Sandra Lindsay the first to receive an injection.
“First Vaccine Administered. Congratulations USA! Congratulations World!”
President Donald Trump said on Twitter.
Super-cooled shipments of the vaccine had rolled out of a Pfizer manufacturing
facility in Kalamazoo, Michigan, Sunday for rapid air freight distribution to
regional hubs across the United States.
Stephen Hahn, the commissioner of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, told
CNN more than 184,000 vials were on the first trucks leaving the Pfizer vaccine
Health care workers and elderly people in long-term care facilities will be
first in line to receive the first round of 2.9 million doses at a time when
cases are surging in the United States.
Meanwhile, President Trump reversed a directive that senior government officials
including some White House staff would have access to the first round of
In a twitter message late Sunday, Trump said that the White House staff will be
vaccinated “somewhat later in the program, unless specifically necessary.” Trump
added that he is not scheduled to take the vaccine but looks forward to doing so
“at the appropriate time.”
The U.S. has recorded more cases than any other country, with nearly 300,000
deaths from the virus and more than 16 million infections, according to the
Johns Hopkins University.
Hahn said it is possible that 20 million Americans will be able to get
vaccinated with the first of two required doses by the end of December.
Moncef Slaoui, the chief adviser to the government’s vaccine development, told
“Fox News Sunday” that 100 million Americans might be vaccinated by the end of
But on the ABC News show “This Week,” Hahn said it was a “significant problem”
that a quarter to half of Americans, according to polls, are wary of the vaccine
produced by the American-German corporate tandem of Pfizer and BioNTech, despite
being approved by U.S. health regulators. Others have vowed to not be
Hahn said the government has “to be transparent on the safety” of the Pfizer
vaccine, as well as on a vaccine produced by biotechnology company Moderna that
is being reviewed by regulators this week. Clinical tests showed both were 95%
Slaoui said that for the U.S. to acquire "herd immunity," which would halt
transmission of the deadly virus, the country needs about 75% or 80% of the
population immunized. He said he hopes that point could be reached between May
"It is, however, critical that most of the American people decide and accept to
take the vaccine," Slaoui said. "We are very concerned by the hesitancy that we
Governor Phil Murphy of the eastern state of New Jersey told ABC, “We’ve got to
deal with a skeptical anti-vaccination bloc” of people.
But he added, “We believe in these vaccines. They’re safe.”
warned, however, that even as Americans begin to get vaccinated, the coronavirus
danger remains daunting.
“The next six to eight weeks are going to be hell,” he said. But Murphy said
that by April or May, “everyone will have access to these vaccines.”
The chief officer of Operation Warp Speed, the Trump administration’s vaccine
development program, Army General Gustave Perna, said at a news conference
Saturday that shipping companies will initially deliver doses to nearly 150
distribution centers, and an additional 450 or so facilities will have the
vaccine by Wednesday.
The Food and Drug Administration approved the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine for
emergency use late Friday.
The vaccine must be kept at minus 70 degrees Celsius before being used.