The most ambitious vaccination campaign in the history of the United States began early this Sunday. The first doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech coronavirus vaccine have come out of a pharmaceutical facility in Kalamazoo (Michigan). The federal government plans to send the first 2.9 million doses to 600 points distributed in the 50 states of the country. Distribution centers are scheduled to begin immunizing the most vulnerable infected and medical personnel this Monday. The United States is the country most affected by the pandemic, with 298,000 deaths and more than 16 million infected.
Workers at the Pfizer Kalamazoo plant cheered as the first truckload of vaccines left the facility, kicking off the long-awaited cast. UPS and FedEx employees helped package the nearly three million doses in special containers with dry ice and placed them in their vehicles. All trucks have a device that tracks their location, temperature, light exposure, and movement. The plan has been put in place after the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) gave the green light Friday night for emergency use of the vaccine.
Doses leaving Pfizer’s plants in Michigan and Wisconsin will be transported by planes and trucks to state-designated distribution locations, mostly hospitals. The territories are following the recommendations of the Center for Disease and Prevention (CDC) to prioritize the delivery of the vaccine: first health personnel with high risk of exposure and residents of nursing homes, a population that has died at disproportionately high rates compared to the rest.
General Gustave Perna, responsible for the logistics of Operation Warp Speed, the Donald Trump Administration’s program to deal with the pandemic, reported that 145 locations will receive the vaccine on Monday, 425 on Tuesday and 66 on Wednesday. Perna on Saturday compared the mammoth operation to World War II “D-Day” and warned that it will take several months to “finally achieve victory.”
On when the usual life before the pandemic could resume, Dr. Anthony Fauci estimated Thursday that if the vaccination program flows quickly, and Americans undergo mass treatment, it could return “to some form of normality reasonably quickly in the summer and definitely in the fall ”. Last week Trump signed an executive order to give “Americans priority” in administering US-produced covid vaccines, before providing doses to other countries.
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