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Monday was a day to remember in the fight against the coronavirus pandemic in the United States As the country passed the grim milestone of 300,000 deaths from COVID-19, some Americans began to receive Pfizer and the vaccine from BioNTech, which won emergency approval from the Food and Drug Administration Friday.
As expected, high-risk health workers are the first to receive vaccinations; Sandra Lindsay, an intensive care nurse at Long Island Jewish Medical Center in Queens, New York, is said to be the first American to receive the vaccine outside of a clinical trial. After frontline healthcare workers, nursing home residents – who are causing a disproportionate number of COVID-19 deaths – are expected to be next in terms of priority. The vaccine will likely not be available to the vast majority of Americans until next spring at the earliest, according to government officials.
Yet relief doesn’t come a moment too soon. Coronavirus cases and deaths continue to rise across the country, forcing many states to reinstate lockdown measures that have already devastated huge swathes of the U.S. economy. Health officials fear the situation will only worsen over the winter and continue to warn Americans to wear face masks, avoid indoor and group gatherings and practice social distancing.
But the arrival of the Pfizer / BioNTech vaccine, along with the pending approval of Moderna’s own COVID-19 vaccine, offers hope for a nation whose very way of life has been turned upside down by an unsuccessful pandemic. is produced only once in a century. With hundreds of sites across the United States set to receive the vaccine this week, the start of mass vaccinations indicates that the tide could turn against the virus – and that the end of all death and economic devastation, and a back to normal, could finally be on the horizon.
Below are some images from the first day of the historic vaccine rollout in the United States:
More health and Big Pharma coverage of Fortune:
- A depleted workforce with no end in sight: An inside look at the struggling healthcare industry in the United States
- Side Effects, Dosage, Price and More: Everything you need to know about Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine
- What happens next: 10 non-COVID healthcare predictions for 2021
- How? ‘Or’ What one of the best senior care companies found an opportunity in the COVID crisis
- Only 10% of people in poor countries will receive a coronavirus vaccine next year