First Moderna Shots Given; BioNTech Aims To Ramp Up 2021 Production
As vaccines are administered as quickly as they can be shipped, manufacturers work to increase capacity while state and hospital officials figure out how to dole out limited supplies.
The Moderna Vaccine Is Now In Some Americans' Arms As Covid-19 Cases In The US Pass 18 Million
As the number of Covid-19 cases reported in the United States passed 18 million, the second vaccine given emergency authorization was being administered Monday for the first time outside of clinical trials. One of the first people to get a public dose of the Moderna Covid-19 vaccine was a doctor in Texas who has gone to work, fighting the virus for 277 consecutive days.
The New York Times:
Moderna’s Coronavirus Vaccine Begins Arriving At Strained Hospitals Across The U.S.
Just one week after the first doses of a coronavirus vaccine were administered in the United States, a new batch of vaccines fanned out across the country on Monday, an urgently needed expansion of a vaccination effort that is expected to reach vulnerable populations and rural areas where hospitals are strained as soon as this week. ... Roughly six million doses of the newly authorized Moderna vaccine are being shipped to more than 3,700 locations around the country this week, adding to the nearly three million doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine that were dispatched mostly to health care workers starting last week. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 614,117 doses had been administered as of Monday morning. (12/22)
BioNTech To Boost Vaccine Capacity, Sees Shot Beating New Strain
Pfizer Inc. partner BioNTech SE is pursuing all its options to make more Covid-19 vaccine doses than the 1.3 billion the companies have promised to produce next year, according to the German firm’s chief executive officer. The companies will probably know by January or February whether and how many additional doses can be produced, Ugur Sahin said late Monday in an interview. “I am confident that we will be able to increase our network capacity, but we don’t have numbers yet.” Sahin also said the vaccine will probably work against the new SARS-CoV-2 strain that has emerged in the U.K. Lab tests of the vaccine’s performance have already been done against 20 mutant versions; the same tests will now be run against the new U.K. version, and should take about two weeks, he said. (Kresge, 12/21)
When Can YOU Get The Vaccine? It Depends On Your Health, Occupation And Where You Live
With two Covid-19 vaccines approved for emergency use and politicians, health care workers and residents of long-term care facilities rolling up their sleeves, it's a natural question: What about me and my loved ones? A lot of factors play into the answer, and it depends on each person's health, what they do for a living and where they live. (McLaughlin, 12/22)
Inside The First Chaotic Days Of The Effort To Vaccinate America
One tray of COVID-19 vaccine from pharmaceutical giant Pfizer contains 975 doses — way too many for a rural hospital in Arkansas. But with the logistical gymnastics required to safely get the Pfizer vaccine to rural health care workers, splitting the trays into smaller shipments has its own dangers. Once out of the freezer that keeps it at 94 degrees below zero, the vaccine lasts only five days and must be refrigerated in transit. (Pradhan, Weber and Hancock, 12/22)
In news from New York, Texas, Kentucky and California —
Cuomo Announces COVID-19 'Vaccine Equity Task Force'
New York has formed a task force to ensure fairness and equity in COVID-19 vaccine distribution, Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced on Monday. The "Vaccine Equity Task Force" will work to "break down barriers to vaccination & ensure a fair distribution," Cuomo said on Twitter. "NYers must have trust, confidence & access to the vaccine," he added. The task force will be co-chaired by New York Secretary of State Rossana Rosado, New York Attorney General Letitia James, President and CEO of National Urban League Marc Morial and President and CEO of Healthfirst Inc. Pat Wang. (Hein, 12/21)
300,000 Texas Care Home Residents And Staff Among First Wave Of Vaccine Recipients
Next week, pharmacy teams will begin fanning out across Texas for one of the most cumbersome and critical phases of the COVID-19 vaccination campaign: inoculating staff and residents at the thousands of long-term care facilities that span the state. Nursing homes and state-run living facilities have been especially hard hit by the pandemic, accounting for more than a quarter of the state’s 25,855 COVID-19 deaths. Getting vaccines to their residents, many of whom are older, have underlying health conditions and can’t advocate for themselves, will be a huge endeavor. (Blackman and Foxhall, 12/22)
Rio Grande Hospital Workers Turned Down The Vaccine. A Senator And A Sheriff’s Deputy Lined Up
So many workers at a hospital in Texas’ Rio Grande Valley declined the new COVID-19 vaccine that the facility offered doses to other medical workers in the region. Many showed up, but so did a state lawmaker, a police officer and a sheriff’s deputy who weren’t on the state’s priority list for vaccination. Hospitals across Texas began to receive the first batches of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine over the last several days. Doctors Hospital at Renaissance in Edinburg, one of the Texas facilities hardest hit by the virus this year, received 5,850 doses of the vaccine. (Davila and Brooks Harper, 12/21)
Kentucky COVID-19 Vaccinations: Pharmacists, Students In Demand
As the first shots of COVID-19 vaccines went into the arms of health care workers last week, pharmacists and pharmacy students were among those helping inject the new drug. And starting this week, even more pharmacists and those in training will spread out across the region to administer vaccinations in nursing homes, with drugstore chains CVS and Walgreens in charge of the effort to immunize thousands of residents and staff. (Yetter and Ladd, 12/21)
3 Lessons From Stanford’s Covid-19 Vaccine Algorithm Debacle
Stanford found itself in hot water last week after deploying a faulty Covid-19 vaccine distribution algorithm. But the fiasco offers a cautionary tale that extends far beyond Stanford’s own doors — and holds crucial lessons as the country prepares to confront complex decisions about who gets the vaccine, when, and why. (Ross and Brodwin, 12/21)