COVID-19 shipments will begin arriving in Chicago today.
The first shipments of Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine have begun arriving at various hospitals around Illinois as a New Yorker becomes the first U.S. citizen to officially receive the COVID-19 vaccine. Nearly three million vaccine doses set off to various destinations across the United States on Sunday, less than 48 hours after the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) granted emergency use authorization. Over 16,000 of those are expected to arrive at Loyola University Medical Center this week. Hospital workers have already started unloading the precious frozen vials of Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine and it’s likely that the first doses could be administered today.
The vaccines have been made by Pfizer Inc. and its German partner BioNTech. They are, for the moment, only authorized for emergency use by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Health care workers and nursing home residents will be first in line for vaccination once it has been given the green light later this week.
The nearly 3 million doses left Pfizer’s Kalamazoo, Michigan factory on Sunday and were packed in dry ice to stay at ultra-frozen temperatures. Today they have begun arriving by truck and plane at various destinations across the United States.
The US vaccination program aims to reach 100 million people by April 2021. The United States currently has the world’s highest death toll by some way and Covid-19 fatalities continue to rise. The arrival of vaccines is a huge step towards a return to normality and getting a grip of this virus but Illinois health officials warn that it will take time. Social distancing and masks are still essential to limit the damage caused by COVID-19.
The arrival of the Pfizer vaccine this week will set in motion the largest vaccination effort in the history of the United States. Full details of Illinois’ vaccination plan can be found on the Illinois Department of Public Health website.