The USA is administering the primary recordings of Pfizer’s Covid vaccine and is beginning a historic rollout
Sandra Lindsay, a nurse at the Long Island Jewish Medical Center, will be welcomed by Dr. Michelle Chester of Northwell Health at Long Island Jewish Medical Center in New Hyde Park, New York, USA, vaccinated with Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) vaccine, 2020.
Mark Lennihan | Reuters
The United States administered the first shots of Pfizer’s Covid-19 vaccine to healthcare workers on Monday. This was a pivotal moment in the country’s long march to get the virus under control.
The vaccine comes at an urgent time. The U.S. is nearing nearly 300,000 Covid-19 deaths and leading health officials are warning that new deaths every day could not slow down for months, even with a vaccine.
With limited doses available, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has recommended states prioritize distribution to frontline health workers and long-term care residents who are among the most severely affected by the disease .
The rapid introduction of the vaccine promises to be an enormous logistical challenge. The federal government has worked with UPS, FedEx, McKesson, CVS, and Walgreens, among others, to aid in the distribution of the vaccine and its actual administration. However, state officials have warned that the so-called last mile delivery of the vaccine will be the biggest challenge, and local officials are largely responsible for that effort. State officials have repeatedly urged the federal government to allocate more funds to accelerate efforts.
UPS employees move one of two shipping containers containing the first shipments of the Pfizer and BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine on a ramp at UPS Worldport in Louisville, Kentucky on Sunday, December 13, 2020.
Michael Clevenger | Getty Images
“There is no part of this country that will not be touched until Wednesday,” said General Gustave Perna, who is responsible for the logistics of Operation Warp Speed, at a briefing on Monday. “It’s not a one-time delivery. It’s a consistent flow of ordering, preparation, and delivery.”
With distribution problems ahead and the ongoing outbreak, health care officials and workers took time Monday to celebrate the vaccine’s arrival and hope. Across the country, images were poured in of health care workers getting their first pictures and the first doses arriving at more than a hundred distribution locations.
Sandra Lindsay, an intensive care nurse at Long Island Jewish Medical Center in New York City, was among the first Americans to be vaccinated against the disease shortly after 9 a.m.
“I am very proud to be in this position and to promote public confidence in the safety of the vaccine. I encourage everyone to take the vaccine,” she said at a news conference with Michael Dowling, CEO of Northwell Health, and Andrew Cuomo, Governor of New York. “This should matter to all of us as it means hope, healing, restoring public health and public safety.”
At the event, Cuomo thanked healthcare workers for serving on the front lines of what has been called a “modern battlefield”.
“This vaccine is exciting because I believe this is the weapon that will end the war,” he said. “It’s the beginning of the last chapter of the book, but now all we have to do is do it. The vaccine won’t work if it’s in the vial, does it?”
Nearly 100,000 doses of the vaccine will arrive at five major Florida regional hospitals on Monday, Governor Ron DeSantis said at a news conference at Tampa General Hospital.
DeSantis said he was at the Tampa General loading dock to sign and receive the first dose. He later introduced Vanessa Arroyo, 31, a nurse at Tampa General, who DeSantis said was the first to receive the vaccine in Florida.
Dr. Charles Lockwood, dean of the University of South Florida College of Medicine, compared it to the first moon landing to convey his excitement.
“From a health care perspective, this is our magical Neil Armstrong moment,” Lockwood said, adding that people should keep wearing their masks, practice social distancing and avoid large crowds.
Dr. Jason Smith shows his bandage after receiving a COVID-19 vaccination at the University of Louisville Hospital on December 14, 2020 in Louisville, Kentucky.
Jon Cherry | Getty Images
Kentucky Governor Andy Beshear celebrated the historic day at the University of Louisville that Dr. Jason Smith, the chief medical officer of the University of Louisville Health, was the first to receive the vaccine in Kentucky.
“I firmly believe this is a safe and effective vaccine,” said Smith before rolling up his sleeve. “So I volunteered to go first.”
Connecticut Governor Ned Lamont greeted nearly 2,000 doses of Pfizer’s vaccine Monday morning at Hartford Hospital, where Dr. Ajay Kumar, Executive Vice President and Chief Clinical Officer of Hartford HealthCare, received the first dose.
“This is the beginning of a new day. This is a time of hope. This is a historic moment,” said Jeffrey Flaks, President and CEO of Hartford HealthCare, at a news conference. “Our doctors have described this in many ways for our country, like putting a man on the moon.”
Hartford Healthcare officials said 15 frontline health workers, including doctors, nurses and respiratory therapists, would be the first people in the state to receive the vaccine.
Frontline workers at Ochsner Medical Center in New Orleans were among the first in Louisiana to receive the vaccine, said Governor John Bel Edwards, calling the day “the beginning of the end.”
Dr. Robert Hart, Ochsner’s chief medical officer, encouraged everyone to get vaccinated as soon as they are eligible, adding that people should continue to follow public health guidelines such as: B. wearing masks and social distancing. As he spoke over his shoulder, the audience saw Dr. Leo Seoane, Ochsner’s academic director, received the vaccine.
“It was an incredible morning. As everyone says, it’s historic,” said Seoane. “As a Cuban American citizen and first generation immigrant to this country, it is truly an honor and a privilege to be part of the solution to something that we know has been so effective for the Hispanic community.”
Seoane noted that Covid-19 hit the Hispanic with a disproportionate burden. The CDC says that Hispanic and black Americans died nearly three times as often as white Americans. Seoane urged members of these communities to receive the vaccine as soon as they were given the opportunity.
The first vaccinations in Buckeye state were at Ohio State University’s Wexner Medical Center, where Governor Mike DeWine was was there to receive the first shipment Monday morning.
“This is a very exciting day for Ohio. It is the day the trial begins near the end of the pandemic. The end is still a long way off, but the end is in sight,” he said on Twitter before the footage. “Every day as we move forward from here, more and more people are being vaccinated.”
One of the first Ohioans to be vaccinated was Dr. Stella Ogake, assistant professor for internal medicine in pulmonary and intensive care medicine at Wexner.
“It’s such a moment of hope because we can see the light. We can see the end of this pandemic,” she told CNN.
The first Iowan to receive the Covid-19 vaccine was David Conway, a 39-year-old nurse with the University of Iowa Health Department.
“I feel great to have the vaccine and finally to be ahead of this virus,” he told reporters shortly after receiving the shot. “I’ve been expecting this for a long time and it’s great to finally have it.”
“I was pretty shocked,” he added, explaining that he learned Monday morning that he would be the first person in Iowa to receive the vaccine. His principal, who he doesn’t talk to much, called his cell phone that morning and told him to be there at a certain time, Conway said.
He added that “it’s a fine day for a vaccine.”
District of Columbia
Nurse Lillian Wirpsza delivers a COVID-19 vaccine to emergency room nurse Barbara Neiswander while Alex Azar, Secretary for Health and Human Services, watches on December 14, 2020 at George Washington University Hospital in Washington, DC, United States.
Jacquelyn Martin | Reuters
In the country’s capital, federal officials held a ceremony with faculties and staff from George Washington University Hospital and GW Medical Faculty Associates.
“The development of a Covid-19 vaccine is nothing short of revolutionary, and I hope everyone will appreciate the significance, the significance and the history of this moment,” said US surgeon general Dr. Jerome Adams. He also urged people of color to get the vaccine if they can.
“It would be a great tragedy if the differences actually got worse because the people who could benefit most from this vaccine weren’t taking it,” he said.
Barbara Neiswander, a nurse in the emergency room of the GW hospital, received the vaccination.
– The Associated Press contributed to this report.