Pfizer and BioNTech’s Covid-19 vaccine has officially begun its initial distribution within the United States this week. Over 50 sites within the nation are expecting to receive their shipments by the end of the week, and while frontline healthcare workers are at the top of the list in terms of vaccination priority, so are vulnerable groups such as nursing home residents, who have been greatly impacted by this pandemic.
Just days after the initial doses were distributed to the nation’s healthcare workers, nursing homes and other assisted living facilities began receiving their Covid-19 vaccine shipments as well. The US has endured over 306,000 Covid-19-related deaths at this point, and over a third of those deaths came from nursing home residents.
Workers in West Virginia and Florida are going to be the first to receive their initial dose of the vaccine, as these areas have been massively impacted by the pandemic. Members of the military are also expected to receive their immunization as the rollouts continue.
News outlets made sure to be there for the arrival of more than 4,800 Covid-19 vaccine doses at the UC Davis Medical Center in Sacramento. Once the vaccines got to the center the vials were immediately put in an extremely cold freezer and taken out in small batches to make that transitional process easier.
Dr. Nate Kupperman was one of the first to receive his initial dose of the Covid-19 vaccine, a moment that he claimed to be extremely freeing.
“With this immunization, I now know I will not die from this disease.”
The initial roll-out has come with its fair share of complications, however, including reports of a “glitch” that impacted certain vials in California and Alabama. The vials arrived too cold for the centers to process, so thousands of potential doses will be replaced to ensure that the vaccine remains effective.
Other complications include some individuals experiencing allergic reactions to the vaccine. A middle-aged healthcare worker in Alaska with no previous history of allergies had an allergic reaction to the vaccine within 10 minutes of the injection. The Food and Drug Administration issued a statement this week that encouraged individuals with a history of severe allergic reactions/allergies in general to refrain from being vaccinated at this time.
Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation’s top infectious disease expert recently claimed that he’s hopeful Americans will take the vaccine when it becomes widely available to the general public. Fauci claimed that if a majority of Americans do receive the vaccine, “we will get a veil or an umbrella of herd immunity over the population that would dramatically diminish the dynamics of the outbreaks.”
In the meantime, it’s imperative that everyone does their own part in keeping themselves, and their loved ones safe. Stay home as often as possible, wear a facial covering and social distance every time you need to go out.
Eric Mastrota is a Contributing Editor at The National Digest based in New York. A graduate of SUNY New Paltz, he reports on world news, culture, and lifestyle. You can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.