The United States swiftly prepares for COVID-19 vaccination as the death toll approaches 300,000. On Friday, health officials finalized plans to begin the distribution of the vaccine across the U.S.
The U.S. saw a new record high of over 3000 COVID-19 deaths in a day on Wednesday, December 10, according to the Washington Post. This trend is estimated to continue over the next few months, even with the disbursement of the vaccine.
According to Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), intends to approve the authorization of the COVID-19 vaccination developed by Pfizer Inc and its German partner BioNTech.
“We will work with Pfizer to get that shipped out so we could be seeing people getting vaccinated Monday or Tuesday,” Azar told ABC News.
Canada, Britain, and Bahrain have already approved Pfizer Inc’s COVID-19 vaccine. Alongside Pfizer Inc, the U.S. will review a second vaccination from Moderna Inc. The U.S. will continue to search for other vaccine candidates including Sinovac, Johnson and Johnson, and Novavax, according to the Regulatory Affairs Professionals Society (RAPS).
Shipping services and hospitals prepare to play their part in the distribution of the vaccine.
Under contract with the federal government, the United Parcel Service and FedEx Corp prepare to roll out millions of vaccines across the country for the upcoming week.
Indiana University Health Center, the first hospital to receive the vaccines, rehearsed their vaccination procedures, involving all of their healthcare workers.
Kristen Kelley, director of infection prevention at IU Health said: “We want to make sure that we are perfectly ready and open with a bang.”
However, other healthcare workers in the U.S. are not ready. With cases still climbing, hospitals are at capacity, short-staffed, and lack personal protective equipment (PPE), the addition of vaccinations will create a complicated transition.
President-elect Joe Biden promised the allocation of 100 million vaccinations, within 100 days of his inauguration.
It is still unclear who will receive the vaccine first, but healthcare workers, the elderly, and individuals with pre-existing conditions have top priority.
Those who want the vaccination should be able to receive it by May or June, Assistant U.S. Health Secretary Brett Giroir told Fox News.
Although, there is skepticism surrounding the vaccine. In a poll by Reuters/Ipsos, only 61% of people said they were open to getting the vaccine.
Meanwhile, U.S. COVID-19 cases are continually rising, with over 200,000 cases per day, and a total of 15.6 million reported cases.