It’s official: vaccinations have finally begun in the U.S.
The moment we’ve all been waiting for since the pandemic first hit has finally come to fruition. The U.S. has officially started vaccinating for Covid-19.
Nevada’s first official vaccination happened yesterday morning at University Medical Center in Las Vegas. The Pfizer vaccine was given to ICU nurse Roshele Ward, who has been on the front lines of the pandemic.
The medical center received its first doses early Monday morning and promptly began administering the first vaccines. About 200 UMC frontline healthcare workers had already been vaccinated by that afternoon.
“Today is a historic and exciting day for UMC and our community and our first responders,” said UMC CEO Mason Van Houweling at a press conference. “We’re really excited. We really had tears in our eyes as the vaccine arrived here at UMC today… The solution is here, it’s been a long road, and we’re very excited.”
Vaccinations will continue throughout the week, prioritizing frontline healthcare workers and residents of long-term care facilities. Governor Sisolak confirmed the arrival of more vaccines in Northern Nevada Monday afternoon. The state is expected to receive over 164,000 doses of the vaccine by the end of December.
It will be a little while before vaccines are available to the general public, but UMC’s Van Houweling predicts that rollout could happen as early as late January or February and “no later than March” for the general population.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration issued an emergency use authorization for the Pfizer vaccine on Friday, allowing for its distribution nationwide. It’s the first to be approved by the FDA, and is currently only recommended for individuals 16 and older. Also in the works is the Moderna vaccine, which will be reviewed by the FDA this Thursday at a Vaccine Advisory Committee Meeting.
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