By Matthew Peron, Lauran Nergaard and David Porter, Associated Press
WASHINGTON (AP) – Hundreds more hospitals across the country began distributing COVID-19 shots to their workers in a rapid expansion of the US vaccination campaign on Tuesday, while a second vaccine fell prey to government authority.
The day after Pfizer-BioNtech’s rollout of the coronavirus virus, the Food and Drug Administration said its preliminary analysis confirmed the effectiveness and safety of the vaccine developed by Modern and the National Institutes of Health. A panel of external experts is expected to recommend the formula on Thursday, after which the FDA’s green light will come soon.
The morden vaccine uses the same technology as Pfizer-BioNotech and has shown equally strong protection against COVID-19, but is easier to handle, as it is in deep freeze at minus 94 ° F (minus 70 Celsius). No need to keep.
Another weapon against the outbreak may not come soon: According to Johns Hopkins University, the number of dead in the US rose to more than 300,000 on Monday, with about 2,400 people now dying on average every day.
The devastating toll is only expected to increase in the coming weeks, which is fraught with an increase in Christmas and New Year visits, family gatherings and observance of wearing masks and other precautions.
Packed in dry ice, shipments of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine began arriving at more than 400 additional hospitals and other delivery sites on Tuesday.
The first 3 million shots are being strictly rationed for front-line health workers and nursing home patients, with hundreds of millions more shots needed in the coming months to protect most Americans.
The rollout provided a measure of encouragement to exhausted doctors, nurses and other hospital staff around the country.
Maritza Beniquez has taken a front-row seat to the COVID-19 pandemic devastating communities of color in New Jersey, so she jumped at the chance to take the vaccine which is seen as a turning point in the long and gruesome Fight against viruses.
The 56-year-old emergency room nurse at Newark University Hospital became the first person from New Jersey to receive the vaccine on Tuesday. All recipients will get a second shot a few weeks later.
“I am happy that in another month and a half I no longer need to be afraid of going to any room. Benicz said, “I would not be afraid to be present during chest constriction or intrust a patient.” “I don’t want to be afraid anymore, and I don’t want to risk taking it home for my family and my friends.”
Widespread acceptance of the vaccine is critical to adequate protection of the US population to ultimately defeat the outbreak. According to a recent survey by The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Health Research, half of Americans say they want to get vaccinated, while about a quarter do not and the rest are unsure.
In Manchester, New Hampshire, nurse of the intensive care unit Heidi Kukla said she volunteered to take the first shot to help address the long-term effects of the vaccine and the apprehensions about that pace.
“I know a lot of people have reservations about getting the vaccine,” she said after being vaccinated at Elliott Hospital. “But I can assure you that there is nothing worse than being a patient on a ventilator in the ICU with COVID right now anywhere in this country.”
Most of the Senate leader Mitch McConnell, a childhood polio survivor, urged elected officials to “step up” and vacate.
“We really need to get the country vaccinated,” he said. “It is the right thing to do for yourself, for your family and for the country.”
Acting US Secretary of Defense Christopher Miller received the Pfizer vaccine on Monday at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda, Maryland. Other high-class Pentagon military service leaders are expected to receive the vaccine as soon as next week to show that it is safe. Currently, receiving the vaccine is voluntary for members of the military.
The federal government is planning hundreds more shipments through the weekend.
Shots for nursing home residents won’t begin in most states until next week, when some 1,100 facilities are scheduled to begin vaccinations. Government officials say 20 million Americans will be able to get their first shots by the end of December, and 30 million more in January.
This projection assumes swift authorization of the modern vaccine, which also requires two shots for complete protection. The US government has purchased orders for 100 million doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine and 200 million doses of Moderna serum. Assuming no manufacturing or distribution delays, it would be sufficient to vaccinate 20 million Americans by mid-2021.
Worldwide, the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine is being offered in the UK and Canada. And EU regulators held a meeting to assess the vaccine on 21 December, a week earlier than planned under pressure from the continent of Germany and other countries.
In examining the initial results of the 30,000-person study, the FDA found that Modern’s vaccine worked similarly to Pfizer-BioNotech.
The modern vaccine was more than 94% effective overall to prevent COVID-19 disease, and 86% effective in people 65 and older. The FDA did not disclose any major safety issues. Side effects may include fever, fatigue, and pain as the vaccine reveals the immune system.
Even with such a large study, very rare problems cannot be detected. But the FDA cautiously looked for signs of allergic reactions when the UK last week reported some possible reactions among people with a history of severe allergies that the Pfizer-BioNtech pill received.
The FDA did not find any serious allergies in the Modern study. About 1.5% of vaccine recipients and 1.1% of those receiving dummy shots reported potential small, “hypersensitivity” reactions.
Shots from both Morden and Pfizer-Bayonet are so-called mRNA vaccines. They themselves are not made with coronovirus, meaning there is no chance that can catch it with shots. Instead, the vaccine contains a piece of genetic code that trains the immune system to recognize proteins that are pointed at the surface of the virus.
Associated Press writers Tamara Lusch, Holly Raymer, Candice Choi and Lolita C. Baldor contributed to this report. Porter reported from Newark, New Jersey.
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