First batches of Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine to arrive Monday at vaccination centers in US


Published: 2020-12-12 23:16

Last Updated: 2023-03-26 07:57

Photo: BBC
Photo: BBC

Monday morning, the first batches of the Pfizer/BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine, which was given the green light Friday in the United States, will arrive at the vaccination centers that will immediately begin administering the vaccine to Americans.

Saturday, General Gus Perna of the "Warp Speed" operation launched by the US government to ensure the delivery of the vaccine against COVID-19 said, "Distribution operations have started" and "the first shipments will arrive on Monday morning." 

Friday evening, the outgoing US President Donald Trump confirmed, after the emergency approval of the health authorities to use the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine, that the first doses of the vaccine will be provided within 24 hours, that is, Saturday. 

But Pfizer said that the first batches will not go out from its Michigan plant to the shipment centers of UPS and FedEx before Sunday.

"We can expect 145 sites in the states to receive the vaccine on Monday, and an additional 425 sites on Tuesday. The last 66 sites will receive the vaccine on Wednesday," said General Perna of this first phase of the vaccination campaign, which will include about three million people.

He pointed out that no batch of vaccines had been prepared before getting the green light from the US Medicines Agency on Friday evening.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommended the start of administering the vaccine to nursing home residents (three million people) and health sector employees (21 million). Most states are supposed to follow the agency’s recommendations.

NThe United States is the country with the most recorded COVID-19 deaths and cases, with 295,000 deaths and more than 15 million infections. And recently, the country has recorded records in terms of daily cases exceeding 200,000, and daily deaths ranging between 2,500 and 3,000.

On Friday, Trump pressured the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA), which he described as a "large, slow-moving turtle," to give the green light to "the damn vaccine now."

The Washington Post reported that the White House ordered the President of the US Food and Drug Administration, Stephen Hahn, to approve the Pfizer-Bionic vaccine on the same day, that is, Friday, or to resign.

The US Food and Drug Administration approved the use of the vaccine on Friday evening.

On Saturday, Han stressed in an online conference, "We acted quickly due to the emergency posed by this pandemic, not due to some external pressure."

The authority clarified which cases of allergy that it is advised not to receive the vaccine, after two serious allergies to the vaccine were recorded in the United Kingdom this week.

The authority’s official, Peter Marks, said that such reactions “were not found in the large-scale clinical trial data,” and that “we will continue to monitor them closely.”

He explained that the recommendations not to give the vaccine will include only patients who have previously had "serious allergic symptoms" to its components or similar vaccines, and not people who suffer from absolutely serious allergic symptoms.

"About 1.6 percent of the population previously showed symptoms of severe allergies due to food or related to climatic conditions. We do not want this amount of people to be deprived of the vaccine," he said.

He added that people who did not show symptoms of a serious allergy to the vaccine or to any of its components could receive it.