Coronavirus Vaccines Roll Out Across US & Canada

The first people in the US and Canada have begun getting the Pfizer coronavirus  vaccine. It’s an important step in the long process of getting the virus under control in two countries where it’s currently spreading rapidly.

On Monday, Sandra Lindsay became the first person in the US to get the coronavirus vaccine made by the drug companies Pfizer and BioNTech. Ms. Lindsay is a nurse in New York, where she’s been working with patients with Covid-19.

“I hope this marks the beginning of the end of a very painful time in our history,” Ms. Lindsay said.

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On Monday, Sandra Lindsay became the first person in the US to get the coronavirus vaccine made by the drug companies Pfizer and BioNTech. Ms. Lindsay is a nurse in New York, where she’s been working with patients with Covid-19.

The vaccine was approved by the US FDA (Food and Drug Administration) last Friday. The process of delivering it across the country began almost immediately. The Pfizer vaccine is difficult to transport because it must be kept extremely cold.

In the US, each state was given a certain number of doses of the vaccine, based on its population. The first people to get the vaccines will be health care workers and older people.

UPS workers load boxes of the Pfizer coronavirus vaccine to be shipped.
The process of delivering the Pfizer vaccine across the country began almost immediately. The vaccine is difficult to transport because it must be kept extremely cold. Above, UPS workers get specially packed boxes of the vaccine ready for a flight.
(Source: UPS.)

The vaccine is arriving as the number of coronavirus cases in the US is growing faster than ever. Monday brought a sad reminder of how serious the virus is, as the US marked 300,000 deaths from Covid-19.

Canada also began giving out the Pfizer vaccine on Monday. The first person to get the vaccine was 89-year-old Gisele Levesque, who lives in Quebec City.

Because of the challenge of transporting the Pfizer vaccine, it will only be offered in the provinces. As in the US, the first vaccines will go to health care workers and older people.

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Because of the challenge of transporting the Pfizer vaccine, it will only be offered in the provinces. The first vaccines will go to health care workers and older people. Above, people line up for the vaccine in Toronto.

Though Canada made progress controlling the coronavirus this summer, the number of cases in Canada is shooting up rapidly. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau reminded people to keep taking steps to control the virus. “This is good news,” he said, “But our fight against COVID-19 is not over.”

Other Vaccine News

In other positive news, the FDA says a second vaccine, made by the drug company Moderna, is safe and works well. The FDA is expected to approved the vaccine this Friday.

Like the Pfizer vaccine, the Moderna vaccine is about 95% successful at protecting people from the coronavirus. But it has an advantage – it doesn’t require extremely cold conditions like the Pfizer vaccine does, making it much easier to transport and store.

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The FDA says a vaccine made by Moderna, is safe and works well. The Moderna vaccine is about 95% successful at protecting people, but it doesn’t require extremely cold conditions like the Pfizer vaccine does, making it much easier to transport and store.

It’s incredible that these vaccines have been developed so quickly. It’s especially great news for rich countries like Canada, the United Kingdom, and the US, which supported the research that led to the vaccines.

These countries also ordered millions of doses of the vaccines ahead of time – far more doses than the number of people in each country. Though it will take time for the vaccines to be produced, these countries are likely to get most of their people protected some time next year.

Things don’t look nearly so good in poor countries, where it could take years to protect everyone. The United Nations and several other groups are encouraging richer countries to make greater efforts to help poorer countries get vaccines.

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