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Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine rolls out to frontline healthcare workers

A critical care nurse in New York City was the first person in the United States to receive the new Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine.

Susan Morse, Managing Editor

The new Pfizer BioNTech vaccine rolls out today with the help of the Department of Defense. (Photo courtesy HHS Chris Smith)

A critical care nurse in New York City is the first person in the United States to receive the new Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine against COVID-19.

Sandra Lindsay, a critical care nurse at Long Island Jewish Medical Center in Queens, received the first dose on Monday morning, Axios said.

Today, the first shipments of 2.9 million doses of the vaccine are on their way to states and hospitals. By the end of December an estimated 20 million people will be vaccinated, and by the end of January another 30 million will get the vaccine. 

Vaccines will be given first to frontline healthcare workers and vulnerable populations in long-term care facilities. The vaccine is expected to go out to long-term care facilities on Monday, Dec. 21.

The federal government is sending $140 million to states to help fund distribution operations, according to HHS Secretary Alex Azar.
Insurers are handling administration costs.

The vaccine is going to 636 sites nationwide today, over 400 tomorrow and will continue, until, by the end of second quarter 2021, there will be enough vaccine to vaccinate all who want it, Azar said.

The vaccine, which has shown 95% efficacy in protection against the coronavirus, received Food and Drug Administration approval on Friday night after the FDA's advisory committee approved its emergency use authorization. 

In addition, the Department of Health and Human Services and the Department of Defense announced Friday that the federal government will purchase an additional 100 million doses of the COVID-19 vaccine from Moderna.

The FDA advisory committee will meet to review the Moderna vaccine for EAU on Thursday, December 17.

See our continuing vaccine coverage here:

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Twitter: @SusanJMorse
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