The U.S. has reached a turning point in the coronavirus pandemic after a COVID-19 vaccine has been authorized for widespread use by the national Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
The first doses of Pfizer’s recently-authorized coronavirus vaccine began shipping out of Michigan and Wisconsin on Sunday, Dec. 13 and will start reaching their destinations across the nation on Monday.
After granting Pfizer’s emergency use authorization request for its coronavirus vaccine, the FDA addressed some of the public’s major concerns regarding the vaccine during a news conference Saturday. FDA officials advised pregnant or breastfeeding women, along with individuals with histories of allergic reactions, to consult with a doctor before receiving the vaccine -- among other concerns.
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Following the Pfizer vaccine’s authorization on Dec. 11, Michigan officials have outlined how the vaccine will be distributed in the state in the coming months.
Due to limited quantities of and high demand for a COVID-19 vaccine, states are planning to administer the vaccinations in multiple phases, prioritizing individuals who are at greater risk.
- Phase 1A includes paid and unpaid persons serving in health care settings who have direct or indirect exposure to patients or infectious materials and are unable to work from home, as well as residents of long-term care facilities.
- Phase 1B includes some workers in essential and critical industries, including workers with unique skill sets such as non-hospital or non-public health laboratories and mortuary services.
- Phase 1C includes people at high risk for severe COVID-19 illness due to underlying medical conditions, and people 65 years and older.
- Phase 2 is a mass vaccination campaign for all adults.