Monday is another historic day for America as the battle against Covid-19 took a further step as the first federally approved coronavirus vaccine was injected into the arm of an ICU nurse American.
The Covid-19 vaccine was developed by Pfizer, a US pharmaceutical manufacturer, and its German partner BioNTech was given emergency use authorization by the Food and Drug Administration on Friday night.
Immediately, on Sunday, the first trucks bearing the vaccines left Pfizer's plant in Portage, Michigan. The giant pharma expects that by the end of this week, the 2.9 million shots will be delivered on time to 636 predetermined locations.
On Monday at Long Island Jewish Medical Center in the New York City borough of Queens, Intensive Care Unit nurse Sandra Lindsay, a frontliner who has been on the battlefield against a virus, applauded moments after the first dose was administered into her left arm.
Lindsay said, "I feel hopeful today, relieved," after the historic moment was live-streamed by New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo. She added, "I feel the healing is coming. I hope this marks the beginning of the end of the very painful time in our history."
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Gov. Cuomo of New York, which was one of the hardest hit in the earliest days of the pandemic, hailed the vaccine as "the weapon that will end the war." Mayor Bill de Blasio of New York City said of Lindsay, "How fitting that she was the first to get the shot,."
Further, the New York City health commissioner, Dr. Dave Choksh, "The cavalry is on the way," said Monday.
By Sunday evening, at Chicago O'Hare International Airport, vaccine packed American Airlines Boeing 777-200 had taken off bound for Miami, Florida, where more than 1.1 million cases of the coronavirus were reported.
With cargo trucks and planes moving vaccines across the country, a colossal logistical challenge is starting to shape up. All the while, these vaccines must be kept at minus 94 Fahrenheit and transported to their destinations in special boxes packed with dry ice.
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Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear said in a statement Sunday, "We now believe that the first individuals will be vaccinated here in the commonwealth tomorrow morning," and continued. "We are less than 24 hours away from the beginning of the end of this virus."
President of UPS Healthcare Wes Wheeler said, "Everything's on time, no disruptions, and we're very, very excited," which is carrying out the mass deliveries along with its rival FedEx.
Still, there is a long way to go for this battle as most Americans won't receive the vaccine until next year. Experts also say that it will take some time to make even a dent in a pandemic that is killing thousands of people globally - more than ever before.
Medical workers, along with private partners, will face struggles in distributing the vaccine to far-flung areas, and convincing skeptical individuals that the shots are safe regardless of age and physical conditions.