FILE PHOTO: A man receives the first of two Pfizer/BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine jabs, at Guy’s Hospital, at the start of the largest ever immunisation programme in the British history, in London, Britain December 8, 2020. Victoria Jones/Pool via REUTERS/File Photo

THE NEUTRAL ZONE

Two days after 3,124 Americans died from COVID-19, more in a single day than D-Day, 9/11 or Pearl Harbor, health care workers could start injecting Pfizer’s vaccine Monday. Alex Azar, the nation’s health secretary, said the final details were being ironed out. “It’s very close,” he said. “It’s really just the last dotting of I’s and crossing of T’s.”

The Food and Drug Administration bolstered that statement by issuing its own news Friday that it was “rapidly working” toward the emergency approval needed to get things rolling, and that approval was expected by Friday evening. The FDA will also review Moderna, which achieved 95% effectiveness, next week. Given that, Brett Giroir, the assistant health secretary, told “Fox and Friends” Friday that at least 20 million people could be vaccinated during December and another 50 million in February. CVS expects to start administering the vaccine to nursing homes on Dec. 21. 

Despite President Donald Trump’s charge to “get the dam (sic) vaccine out now” in a tweet, things will worsen: “The worst is yet to come in the next week or two or three,” said Catherine Troisi, an infectious-disease epidemiologist at the UTHealth School of Public Health in Houston. “What happens after that is going to depend on our behavior today.”

Nursing homes workers and residents will get the first shots, according to recommendations by the Centers for Disease Control, followed by medical workers and health care specialists. Those recommendations also stated, not surprisingly, that demand will far outstrip supply, meaning many more will die. Most won’t receive shots for months, meaning the vaccines won’t make a real impact until well into 2021. 

Editor’s Note: An earlier version of this article had a duplicated article snippet for CNN and The Atlantic. It has been corrected.

MEDIA PERSPECTIVE

This section includes an aggregation of articles showing different viewpoints on the topic.

A doctor on 9 things that could go wrong with the new vaccines – Vox – 12/11/2020
I am thrilled with the vaccine data so far. The 95 percent efficacy of the Pfizer/BioNTech and Moderna vaccines is unprecedented and better than any of us hoped for. But we need to be careful. We need to temper our enthusiasm with the acknowledgment that the vaccine is a weapon we may not be fully prepared to wield. A lot can still go wrong.

FDA ‘rapidly working to finalize’ Pfizer coronavirus vaccine approval – Fox News – 12/11/2020
“Following yesterday’s positive advisory committee meeting outcome regarding the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has informed the sponsor that it will rapidly work toward finalization and issuance of an emergency use authorization,” Dr. Stephen Hahn, FDA commissioner, and Dr. Peter Marks, director of the FDA’s Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research, said in a joint statement released Friday.

A vaccine will be a game-changer for international travel. But it’s not everything – CNN – 12/11/2020
Certainly, an effective vaccine brings this prospect much closer. But a vaccine alone won’t ensure a safe return to international travel. There are several other things countries will need to consider.

White House Orders FDA Head To Approve COVID-19 Vaccine Or Resign – Daily Wire – 12/11/2020
White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows told FDA Chief Stephen Hahn to approve the Pfizer coronavirus vaccine by the end of Friday or resign, the Washington Post reported. […] Hahn has denied WaPo’s characterization of his phone call with Meadows, however, and the White House did not immediately respond to a request for clarification.

The Next Six Months Will Be Vaccine Purgatory – The Atlantic – 12/11/2020
It will take several months to vaccinate enough Americans to resume normal life, and this interim could prove long, confusing, and chaotic. The next six months will almost certainly bring delays in vaccine timelines, fights over vaccine priority, and questions about how immune the newly vaccinated are and how they should behave. We’ve spent 2020 adjusting to a pandemic normal, and now a strange, new period is upon us. Call it vaccine purgatory.

How the Vaccine Will Get From the Lab to You – New York Times – 12/10/2020
The first doses of a coronavirus vaccine are likely to roll out across the United States within days, now that regulators are one step closer to giving Pfizer’s shot the green light.

INFLUENCER PERSPECTIVE

This section includes an aggregation of tweets showing different viewpoints on the topic.

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