Last week the Pfizer BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine was approved in the United Kingdom, and hospitals already started rolling out vaccination. Meanwhile, those of us in the United States waited for the vaccine to be approved by the FDA.

On December 11, 2020, the FDA announced that they issued “emergency use authorization” (EUA) for the Pfizer BioNTech vaccine.

According to FDA Commissioner Stephen M. Hahn, M.D., “The FDA’s authorization for emergency use of the first COVID-19 vaccine is a significant milestone in battling this devastating pandemic that has affected so many families in the United States and around the world.”

On Monday, December 14, the vaccine arrived at hospitals in the United States, and the first person to receive the vaccine was a nurse named Sandra Lindsay. She received the vaccine at Long Island Jewish Medical Center in New York.

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo watched Lindsay get vaccinated and reacted by saying, “This is the light at the end of the tunnel.”

After receiving the vaccine, Lindsay said she felt “hopeful” and “relieved.”

Watch Lindsay get vaccinated in the video below.

 

The Pfizer BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine is packed in dry ice to keep it at the required ultra-low temperature. About 3 million doses of the vaccine have already been shipped from Pfizer’s factory in Kalamazoo, Michigan.

There is another COVID-19 vaccine manufactured by Moderna that has yet to receive the green light from the FDA, but it may also receive EUA from the FDA later this week.

Healthcare workers and nursing home residents will be the first to qualify for the new vaccine. Because it can cause side-effects like fever, muscle aches and fatigue, hospitals will stagger who gets vaccinated.

It’s important to note that one dose of the vaccine is not enough. Three weeks after receiving the first dose, patients will receive a second dose of the vaccine.

Currently, about half of Americans say that they want to get the COVID-19 vaccine. About 25% of Americans say they do not want to get the vaccine, and another 25% have yet to decide.

Are you going to get the COVID-19 vaccine when it is available to you?