New York intensive care unit nurse among first Americans to receive licensed coronavirus vaccine, as US prepares to distribute millions of doses of Pfizer / BioNTech vaccine just days away after its approval.
Sandra Lindsay received a vaccine injection shortly after 9 a.m. Monday live on camera, hours after the first doses arrived in hospitals across the country.
The inoculation marks the starting point of what will be a multi-month process aimed at immunizing enough Americans to slow the spread of the disease, which has now killed more than 290,000 people.
“It’s been dark,” said Lindsay, referring to the past year as a frontline nurse in the fight against the pandemic. “Dark, painful. So today I have the impression that there is light at the end of the tunnel.
She said she was confident in the safety of the vaccine. “I trust science,” she says. “So I didn’t hesitate when I was asked if I would take the vaccine.”
Yves Duroseau, president of the emergency medical service at Lenox Hill Hospital, who also received the vaccine on Monday, said the pandemic had taken its toll on him: he lost an uncle to Covid-19, and another family member was currently in hospital with the virus.
“It’s a very important day,” he said. “It’s a very promising day.”
“I believe this is the weapon that will end the war,” New York Governor Andrew Cuomo said as he watched Ms. Lindsay’s injection via video link. “This is the beginning of the last chapter of the book, but we just have to do it.”
Data from the Covid Tracking Project shows 187,000 people tested positive for the disease in the United States on Sunday and 1,482 died. The United States has recorded more than 16 million cases since the start of the pandemic, the highest in the world by far.
Health workers and people in nursing homes should receive the first doses of the vaccine, with 3 million injections scheduled in the first week.
Government officials say they expect around 40 million doses of a Covid-19 vaccine to be distributed by the end of the year – enough to vaccinate 20 million people – although this will depend on the decision of the United States Food and Drug Administration. Moderna’s Covid-19 coup later this week.
The FDA approved the Pfizer / BioNTech vaccine on Friday evening, after which workers at Pfizer’s Michigan and Wisconsin plants spent the weekend manufacturing and shipping the first batch of doses.
These were received on 145 sites on Monday morning, and sent to 425 others on Tuesday and 66 on Wednesday. Almost all of the sites are large hospitals with the necessary facilities to keep the vaccine at minus 70 ° C.
All doses taken by the end of the year are for those considered to be at greatest risk of exposure to the virus, whether in a health care setting or in a long-term care facility. duration.
Donald Trump, US President, said sunday night it was not expected that he would receive a shot, and that senior White House officials would receive him “a little later in the program”, despite the rules allowing senior government officials to have access priority.