CHICAGO (CBS) — The United States is just one day away from seeing the very first authorized coronavirus vaccines being administered to frontline health workers. The first trucks carrying a COVID-19 vaccine for widespread use in the United States pulled out of a Kalamazoo, Michigan, manufacturing facility Sunday, with the shots that are critical to stopping the nation’s coronavirus outbreak destined to reach states a day later. The doses will be sent to 145 centers across the country.
What is being called Operation Warp Speed is hoping to have vaccines going to every corner of the country within three weeks. Federal officials say the first shipments of Pfizer’s vaccine will be staggered, arriving in 145 distribution centers Monday, with an additional 425 sites getting shipments Tuesday, and the remaining 66 on Wednesday. The vaccine, co-developed by German partner BioNTech, is being doled out based on each state’s adult population.READ MORE: Man Stabbed On CTA Blue Line Train Near Irving Park Stop
Chicago is one of those places expected to get early shipments of the vaccine. Some healthcare workers and nursing home residents could get it just days from now.
Because it is the largest vaccine effort in American history there could be hiccups. Sunday’s rollout comes less than 48 hours after the FDA authorized the Pfizer vaccine for emergency use.
Chicago is scheduled to get 23,000 doses in the first shipment.
It is recommended people with certain allergies talk to their doctors before taking the vaccine. Healthcare professionals and government officials continue praising the vaccine, reassuring the public of its safety.READ MORE: Jussie Smollett Trial: Jury Could Get Case As Trial Resumes Monday
“I will absolutely take this COVID-19 vaccine, pending availability and distribution because I have complete trust and confidence in the FDA’s career staff’s evaluation,” said FDA Commissioner Dr. Stephen Hahn.
Right now the U.S. government has ordered 100 million doses from Pfizer — enough to vaccinate 50 million people.
The rollout will ensure there is enough vaccine to give people the two doses needed for full protection against COVID-19. That means the government is holding back 3 million doses to give those vaccinated in the first round a second shot a few weeks later.
Another vaccine developed by pharmaceutical company Moderna could be authorized for emergency use by the FDA as soon as next week.
(© Copyright 2020 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)MORE NEWS: Delivery Driver Shot In Head In Back of The Yards; 18-Year-Old Struck In Thigh
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