Wheels Up on US Vaccine Rollout

UPS employees in Louisville, Kentucky move the first US Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine shipment yesterday. Image: Michael Clevenger/Getty
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UPS employees in Louisville, Kentucky move the first US Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine shipment yesterday. Image: Michael Clevenger/Getty

“It feels amazing.”

That's how one shipping staffer described sending out the first US COVID-19 vaccines yesterday from cargo hubs in Tennessee and Kentucky.

The rollout comes 11 months after the country recorded its first COVID-19 infections, Reuters reports—a remarkably fast timeline for a vaccine to be developed and deployed.

The FDA’s greenlight of the Pfizer/BioNTech 2-dose vaccine on Friday set the stage for front-line health workers and people in nursing homes and long-term care facilities to receive the first doses (which have to be kept Arctic-cold by dry ice).
 
30% of the US population could be immunized by the end of the March, Operation Warp Speed chief Moncef Slaoui said Sunday. But masks and social distancing will remain crucial for months to come.
 
Officials will not jump the line: President Trump has walked back a plan immunize that top government officials would be among the first to receive the vaccines—after criticism that they have consistently downplayed the dangers of the virus, The Washington Post reports.

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