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US administers 1st doses of Pfizer coronavirus vaccine

Shidonna Raven Garden and Cook

The FDA authorized Pfizer’s vaccine last week.

By Ivan Pereira, 14 December 2020, 09:43
Source: ABC News
Featured Photo Source: Unsplash, CDC

Why are people hesitant to trust a COVID-19 vaccine?

Vaccines are proven to reduce deaths and help end pandemics, but the historic speed that the coronavirus vaccines have been developed has made some people hesitant to take them.

A critical care nurse from Northwell Long Island Jewish Medical Center was vaccinated at 9:23 a.m. during a livestreamed event with New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo. “You didn’t flinch,” Cuomo said.

PHOTO: Sandra Lindsay, left, a nurse at Long Island Jewish Medical Center, is inoculated with the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine by Dr. Michelle Chester, Dec. 14, 2020, in New York.
Mark Lennihan/APMark Lennihan/APSandra Lindsay, left, a nurse at Long Island Jewish Medical Center, is inoculated with the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine by Dr. Michelle Chester, Dec. 14, 2020, in New York.

The University of Louisville Hospital in Kentucky will receive its first delivery of the vaccine at 9:30 a.m. and at 10:30 a.m., three doctors and two nurses will receive the vaccine.

Other locations in Connecticut, New York, Iowa, Washington, D.C., and Michigan are also expected to administer vaccine doses on Monday.

The rollout comes less than a week after the U.S. Food and Drug Administration authorized the vaccine for emergency use for Americans over 16. The order from the FDA led to the pharmaceutical company shipping 2.9 million doses to 636 sites across the country.

Pfizer, which produced the vaccine alongside German company BioNTech, began shipping the doses from its Michigan warehouse Sunday directly to those sites, which were pre-selected by governors and local health officials.

Pfizer said it would roll out a second batch of 2.9 million doses shortly after the first batch. The U.S. government is opting to keep 500,000 doses in reserve to address any shipping or distribution mishaps.

The vaccine, which requires two doses for full inoculation, began distribution in the United Kingdom last week.

The vaccine is the first in the country to use the genetic technology mRNA instead of viral components. Pfizer claimed its trials showed the vaccine was 95% effective at preventing symptomatic COVID-19.

The FDA will hold a hearing on Dec. 17 with Moderna, which also developed an mRNA-based vaccine, before possibly giving emergency authorization for its deployment.

According to the World Health Organization, there are 52 COVID-19 vaccines in human trials, and 162 vaccines in preclinical development.

The vaccine developments come as the U.S. is in the midst of the deadliest period of the pandemic, according to health data. America leads the world with over 16 million cases and close to 300,000 deaths, according to Johns Hopkins University’s Coronavirus Resource Center.

The seven-day averages of new daily cases, 211,494, hospitalizations, 106,656, and deaths, 2,427, were at record highs on Dec. 13, according to health data from the COVID Tracking Project.

ABC News’ Arielle Mitropoulos, Sony Salzman and Eric Strauss contributed to this report.

This report was featured in the Monday, Dec. 14, 2020, episode of “Start Here,” ABC News’ daily news podcast.

How do you feel about the COVID 19 vaccine? Many people are asking others what they think of receiving the vaccine. How does the COVID 19 vaccine impact the pandemic?

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