U.S. allows second COVID-19 vaccine
by Rachel Lynn Aldrich
Posted 12/18/20, 11:33 pm
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration granted emergency use authorization to Moderna’s coronavirus vaccine on Friday, clearing the way for the company to start shipping about 5.9 million doses to U.S. hospitals. In the meantime, leaders in Washington—including some Supreme Court justices, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell—have received Pfizer’s COVID-19 shot. President-elect Joe Biden plans to get the injection on Monday. Vice President Mike Pence got it on Friday and said, “I didn’t feel a thing. Well done.”
What about everybody else? The Pfizer vaccine is going out to healthcare workers and nursing home residents across the country. Officials hope to have 80 percent of the U.S. population vaccinated by mid-2021, but there aren’t enough doses currently available to distribute them to most Americans until the spring. The FDA gave pharmacists the go-ahead to squeeze six or seven doses out of Pfizer containers labeled for only five, Politico reported. Companies often put in extra in case some is spilled. They can’t mix leftovers, but that still means many more people can receive the first round of the vaccine. Both Pfizer and Moderna’s formulas require two shots several weeks apart.
Dig deeper: Read John Dawson’s report in Beginnings about potential side effects of the vaccine.
Editor's note: WORLD has updated this report since its initial posting.
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Rachel Lynn Aldrich
Rachel is an assistant editor for WORLD Digital. She is a Patrick Henry College and World Journalism Institute graduate. Rachel resides with her husband in Wheaton, Ill.