U.S. officials say the COVID-19 vaccine will begin arriving in the states on Monday

The country’s first COVID-19 vaccine will begin in the states on Monday morning, U.S. officials said Saturday after the government took the final step in shooting the epidemic that killed nearly 300,000 Americans.

The trucks will depart on Sunday morning when UPS and FedEx shipping companies begin shipping Pfizer vaccine to nearly 150 locations, said Army General Gustave F. Perna of Operation Warp Speed, the Trump government’s vaccination development program. Another 450 sites will be vaccinated on Tuesday and Wednesday.

Officials with Operation Warp Speed ​​say about 3 million shots will initially be delivered nationwide. A similar amount should be kept in reserve for the second installment of recipients.

A similar number of recordings are retained for the second dose of recipients required for complete protection against COVID-19.

The announcement launches a massive logistics operation involving the federal and state governments, private companies, and health care workers to quickly distribute limited vaccine stocks in the United States.

Perna compared vaccine distribution efforts with D-day, a U.S.-led military offensive that reversed the flood in World War II.

“Day D was the beginning of the end and we’re going there today,” Perna said at a news conference. But he added that it takes months of work and “diligence, courage and strength to achieve victory”.

MaineHealth, a network of 12 Portland-based hospitals, plans to deliver nearly 2,000 vaccines to doctors, nurses and other vulnerable individuals in the treatment of COVID-19 patients, said Dr Dora Mills, head of health promotion.

“It’s almost hard to talk about not breaking up,” Mills said Saturday. – This vaccine shines some light on us at the end of the tunnel.

The sites for the first shipment are hospitals and other sites that are able to meet the extremely cold storage requirements of the vaccine. The vaccines should be delivered to local pharmacies and other locations within three weeks, Perna said at a news conference.

The vaccine was scheduled to arrive Monday morning so that health workers can get the recordings and start giving them, Perna said.

It was not clear who would receive the first dose of the vaccine, although health workers and those living in nursing homes were the primary ones. According to Perna, this decision is determined by the health authorities.

As a key distribution challenge, the vaccine, developed in collaboration with BioNTech, should be stored and shipped at ultra-low temperatures of approximately minus 94 degrees Fahrenheit. Pfizer has developed dry containers that use dry ice, and GPS sensors allow the company to track individual shipments and ensure they stay cold.

Workers at the Sinai Mountain Hospital System in New York ran dry this week to prepare for their delivery. In a clean room, pharmacists practiced making separate doses of the training vaccine and ensuring that the freezer was kept at the right temperature.

“Not many people have been vaccinated because of such a big epidemic,” said Susan Mashni, vice president of Mount Sinai Pharmacy. “So we want to make sure we’re doing well. There are a lot of different moving parts and components.

At a meeting of the Centers for Disease Prevention and Control Advisory Expert Advisory on Vaccines, some said local health officials are struggling to ensure that vaccines are distributed fairly and to those most in need, and to ease people’s concerns about getting a shot.

But “the funding for state and local health departments to implement the program has been deeply frozen,” said Dr. Jeffrey Duchin, a Seattle physician on behalf of National Assn. county and city health officials.

The green light to start vaccinations came on late Friday after the Food and Drug Administration approved the emergency use of the vaccine. Enrollment has seen unprecedented global competition to accelerate vaccinations through testing and review, cutting years away from the normal development process.

The FDA has found that the vaccine is very protective and has no major safety issues. U.S. regulators worked for months to ensure the rigor and independence of the review, but the Trump administration put pressure on the agency until the final announcement. One of the White House chiefs even threatened to remove FDA chief Stephen Hahn if OK didn’t come in before Saturday.

Concerns about rushing the vaccine are undermining vaccination efforts in a country where some are deeply rooted in vaccines. Hahn on Saturday reiterated his agency’s independence to reporters.

“Science and data have guided the FDA’s decision,” Hahn said. “We worked quickly because of the urgency of the pandemic, not because of any other external pressure.”

Although regulators in the UK are safe, a number of serious allergic reactions are being investigated. FDA instructions tell providers not to give it to those who have a history of severe allergic reactions to any of its ingredients.

FDA Vaccination Director Dr. Peter Marks says the agency will closely monitor allergic reactions in the United States

“I think we still need to know more and that’s why we’re going to take precautions,” Marks said.

The FDA will review the second vaccine from Moderna and the National Institutes of Health next week, which looks as defensive as Pfizer’s shot. On Friday, the Trump administration announced that it had purchased an additional 100 million doses of the vaccine in addition to the 100 million previously ordered.

The announcement came after last week’s revelations that the White House has decided not to close an additional 100 million doses of Pfizer vaccine for delivery in the second quarter of 2021. The Trump Administration claims that the current regulations and ongoing regulations will be enough to accommodate any American who wants to be vaccinated by the end of the second quarter of 2021.