The FDA Friday night has approved the first COVID-19 vaccine for use in the United States. The vaccine could prove to be the beginning of the end of the pandemic that has killed nearly 300,000 Americans and over 1.5 million worldwide. The first doses of the vaccine are expected to be reserved for health care workers and nursing home residents. The vaccine was produced by drug manufacturer Pfizer, Inc and its German partner BioNTech. Initial doses of the vaccine are predicted to be in short supply and will be rationed, and patients will be prioritized by risk levels. The FDA approval comes after intense pressure from the administration and President Trump specifically. The President even threatened to fire FDA boss Stephen Hahn if the approval did not come by today.
There is also a second vaccine being developed by Moderna, Inc which is expected to be approved by the FDA next week. If that approval happens, the administration expects to vaccinate up to 20 million people by the end of December, an additional 30 million by the end of January, and another 50 million by the end of February. A Centers for Disease Control advisory committee is finalizing a recommendation of who will receive the vaccine first. After health care workers and nursing home residents will be other essential workers, older adults, and those at higher risk for Coronavirus because of pre-existing medical conditions.
There are signs that there may be some resistance to COVID-19 vaccinations across the nation. A new poll from The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research shows that only about half of Americans want the vaccination when it’s their turn. A quarter of those polled said that they will not get the vaccination, and a quarter of those polled were unsure.