DCR Health & Policy:First coronavirus vaccine shipments set to arrive in states on Monday.☕☕☕

Ayyyeee… What’s Goodie Everyone. So I got some news and it involves the coronavirus vaccine.

United States will begin receiving shipments of the first coronavirus vaccine on Monday, U.S. officials said. The Food and Drug Administration’s gave clearance for emergency use of the two dose regimen developed by Pfizer and the German company BioNTech on Friday.

The initial distribution of 2 million doses, a sliver of what was initially anticipated and intended only for health care workers and residents and staff of long term care facilities, will arrive at hospitals battling climbing case counts and mounting deaths. Immunization in its early phases will not curtail intensifying outbreaks, experts cautioned, underscoring the need for continued public health precautions.

As experts gave final sign off, boxes were being packed and loaded with the vaccine, According to Gustave Perna who is chief operating officer of Operation Warp Speed, The cargo would begin moving Sunday morning from Pfizer’s manufacturing facility in Kalamazoo, Michigan to FedEx and UPS hubs nationwide.

The vaccine’s clearance on Friday night from the FDA, followed by backing on Saturday from a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention advisory group, set into motion one of one of the most complicated logistical missions in U.S. history marking a new phase of the pandemic. The vaccine, which must be stored at ultra cold temperatures, is being sent nationwide by plane and guarded truck.

The Vaccine, would arrive at 145 sites, mostly large hospital systems, on Monday, with another 425 sites receiving supply on Tuesday. The final 66 of the 636 locations to receive doses in the first round of Pfizer shipments would receive their supply on Wednesday, Perna said. The general made clear that earlier than anticipated clearance from federal regulators, which took place late Friday instead of Saturday after pressure from the White House, did not alter the timetable for the distribution or actual administration of the shots. Delivery, he said, must occur when “professionals are available to receive it, and then eventually administer it,” making Monday the anticipated target.

Top FDA officials took steps to assure the public that the vaccine was safe, that its clearance was not driven by politics and that health care sites would be equipped in the event of a rare allergic reaction observed among two British health care workers with a history of severe reactions on Saturday.

Health care workers will be prioritized because of their exposure to the virus and critical role in sustaining the nation’s strained health care system. They will begin receiving the shots within days. Each hospital system is moving on a slightly different timetable, depending on resources and staffing needs, with many saying vaccination would not begin until Wednesday. Some medical centers were independently reviewing the vaccine data to check the FDA’s decision.

Innoculation at long term care facilities could begin by the end of the week, according to Perna. Separate kits with needles and alcohol wipes are being shipped so as to sync up with vaccine batches at each site, underscoring the complex choreography of the operation.

The vaccines will arrive at hospitals overwhelmed with covid patients. As of Saturday, more than 108,000 were hospitalized nationwide, according to data provided by the Washington Post

Facilities have spent months grappling with the ethical and logistical challenges of distributing the vaccine. At some institutions, intensive care unit staff members will receive priority while others are including those who work in housekeeping or with cancer patients or newborns. Hospitals wrestled with whether to include those working with covid-19 patients in full protective gear ahead of masked staff members interacting with people who may be asymptomatic carriers.

At health care institutions, surveys are quietly being sent out, lotteries launched and invitations issued to one of the most highly anticipated events of 2020: the opportunity to get in line for a shot. At the same time, institutions are seeking to address unease about a brand new vaccine.

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