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US begins COVID

作者:admin 2020-12-16

The US kicked off a mass vaccination drive on Monday hoping to turn the tide on the world's biggest coronavirus outbreak, as the nation's death toll passed a staggering 300,000.

The start of the desperately awaited vaccine program coincided with several European countries announcing new lockdowns amid spiraling infections, highlighting the long road to ending the global

US begins COVID

A total of 145 sites were to receive vaccines Monday, 425 on Tuesday and 66 on Wednesday. Photo: VCG

New York nurse Sandra Lindsay became the first person in America to receive the Pfizer-BioNTech shot, live on television, six days after Britain launched the West's vaccine campaign against COVID-19.

"It didn't feel any different from taking any other vaccine," said Lindsay, a critical care nurse at the Long Island Jewish Medical Center, imploring all Americans to "do our part" by getting vaccinated.

"I hope this marks the beginning of the end of the very painful time in our history," she added.

The vaccinations come at one of the darkest phases of the pandemic, with cases in the US and many other countries soaring, and health experts struggling against vaccine skepticism, lockdown fatigue and uneven adherence to safety rules.

On Monday, the Netherlands prepared to enter its strictest lockdown since the pandemic began, Britain announced new restrictions on London, and Turkey said it would go into a four-day lockdown over the New Year holidays.

From Tuesday, people in France will no longer need to fill out forms justifying their reason for leaving home, but will instead be subject to a new 8:00 pm-6:00 am curfew.

The US - which has the globe's highest death toll, and the largest number of reported cases at 16.3 million - passed 300,000 deaths just hours after vaccinations began.

"First Vaccine Administered. Congratulations USA! Congratulations WORLD!" President Donald Trump wrote on Twitter earlier in the day, while President-elect Joe Biden tweeted "Stay hopeful - brighter days ahead." Vaccinations also took place in California, Pennsylvania and Ohio, while Canada administered its first dose to a caregiver in Montreal.

An initial 2.9 million doses are set to be delivered to 636 sites around the country by Wednesday, with officials saying 20 million Americans could receive the two-shot regimen by year end, and 100 million by March. 

Doses are being shipped in boxes containing dry ice that can keep supplies at -70 C, the temperature needed to preserve the Pfizer-BioNTech drug. Trials have shown the vaccine to be 95 percent effective. But experts face a battle to convince enough Americans to take it to make it effective in a country where the anti-vaccine movement is strong.

Also launching vaccinations Monday was the United Arab Emirates which began administering shots by Chinese drugs giant Sinopharm in Abu Dhabi.

Newspaper headline: First Americans receive vaccine

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Posted in: AMERICAS

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