cloudy.png
Tuesday March 2nd, 2021 7:01PM

'Relieved': US health workers start getting COVID-19 vaccine

By The Associated Press
Related Articles
  Contact Editor

The biggest vaccination campaign in U.S. history kicked off Monday as health workers rolled up their sleeves for shots to protect them from COVID-19 and start beating back the pandemic — a day of optimism even as the nation's death toll closed in on 300,000.

“I feel hopeful today. Relieved,” critical care nurse Sandra Lindsay said after getting a shot in the arm at Long Island Jewish Medical Center in New York. “I feel like healing is coming.”

With a countdown of “3-2-1,” workers at Ohio State University's Wexner Medical Center gave the first injections to applause.

And in suburban New Orleans, Steven Lee, an intensive care unit pharmacist at Ochsner Medical Center, summed up the moment as he got his own vaccination: “We can finally prevent the disease as opposed to treating it.”

Other hospitals around the country, from Rhode Island to Texas, unloaded precious frozen vials of vaccine made by Pfizer Inc. and its German partner BioNTech, with staggered deliveries set throughout the day and Tuesday. A few other countries have authorized the vaccine, including Britain, which started vaccinating people last week, and Canada, which began doing so on Monday.

For health care workers, who along with nursing home residents will be first in line for vaccination, hope is tempered by grief and the sheer exhaustion of months spent battling a coronavirus that still is surging in the U.S. and around the world.

“This is mile 24 of a marathon. People are fatigued. But we also recognize that this end is in sight,” said Dr. Chris Dale of Swedish Health Services in Seattle.

Packed in dry ice to stay at ultra-frozen temperatures, the first of nearly 3 million doses being shipped are a down payment on the amount needed. More of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine will arrive each week. And later this week, the FDA will decide whether to green-light the world’s second rigorously studied COVID-19 vaccine, made by Moderna Inc.

While the U.S. hopes for enough of both vaccines together to vaccinate 20 million people by the end of the month, there won't be enough for the average person to get a shot until spring.

“This is the light at the end of the tunnel. But it’s a long tunnel,” New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said.

Now the hurdle is to rapidly get vaccine into the arms of millions, not just doctors and nurses but other at-risk health workers such as janitors and food handlers — and then deliver a second dose three weeks later.

“We’re also in the middle of a surge, and it’s the holidays, and our health care workers have been working at an extraordinary pace,” said Sue Mashni, chief pharmacy officer at Mount Sinai Health System in New York City.

Plus, the shots can cause temporary fever, fatigue and aches as they rev up people's immune systems, forcing hospitals to stagger employee vaccinations.

A wary public will be watching closely to see whether health workers embrace vaccinations. Just half of Americans say they want to get vaccinated, while about a quarter don’t and the rest are unsure, according to a recent poll by The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Health Research.

The FDA, considered the world’s strictest medical regulator, said the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine, which was developed at breakneck speed less than a year after the virus was identified, appears safe and strongly protective, and the agency laid out the data in a daylong public meeting last week for scientists and consumers alike to see.

“Please, people, when you look back in a year and you say to yourself, ‘Did I do the right thing?’ I hope you’ll be able to say, ‘Yes, because I looked at the evidence,’” Dr. Francis Collins, director of the National Institutes of Health, said Sunday on NBC’s “Meet the Press.” “People are dying right now. How could you possibly say, ‘Let’s wait and see’?”

Still, the vaccine was cleared for emergency use before a final study in nearly 44,000 people was complete. That research is continuing to try to answer additional questions.

For example, while the vaccine is effective at preventing COVID-19 illness, it is not clear if it will stop the symptomless spread that accounts for half of all cases.

The shots still must be studied in children and during pregnancy. But the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists said Sunday that vaccination should not be withheld from pregnant women who otherwise would qualify.

Also, regulators in Britain are investigating a few severe allergic reactions. The FDA instructed providers not to give the vaccine to those with a known history of severe allergic reactions to any of its ingredients.

___

Associated Press writers Marion Renault, Andrew Welsh-Huggins, Tamara Lush and Kathy Young contributed to this report.

___

The Associated Press Health and Science Department receives support from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute’s Department of Science Education. The AP is solely responsible for all content.

  • Associated Categories: U.S. News, Local/State News, Associated Press (AP), AP National News, AP Online National News, Top U.S. News short headlines, Top General short headlines, AP Health, AP Business
© Copyright 2021 AccessWDUN.com
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
'External source' causes oil tanker blast off Saudi Arabia
A shipping firm says an explosion on a tanker off Saudi Arabia’s port of Jiddah was caused by the ship being “hit from an external source.”
9:57AM ( 23 seconds ago )
'Relieved': US health workers start getting COVID-19 vaccine
The largest vaccination campaign in U_S_ history is underway with health workers getting the first shots."
9:54AM ( 4 minutes ago )
US begins COVID-19 vaccinations: 'Relieved,' says nurse
The U.S. is beginning COVID-19 vaccinations, and “relieved” is the reaction of one of the first health workers to get the shot
9:48AM ( 10 minutes ago )
Associated Press (AP)
AP-NORC poll: America's virus concerns stable as cases spike
Deaths from the coronavirus pandemic are spiking across the country, yet a new poll finds little increase in alarm among Americans about COVID-19 infections and no significant change in opinion about how the government should act to slow the spread
8:32AM ( 1 hour ago )
US agencies hacked in monthslong global cyberspying campaign
U.S. government agencies were ordered to scour their networks for malware and disconnect potentially compromised servers after authorities learned that the Treasury and Commerce departments were hacked in a monthslong global cyberespionage campaign discovered when the prominent cybersecurity firm FireEye learned it had been breached
7:46AM ( 2 hours ago )
Protesting Indian farmers call for 2nd strike in a week
Tens of thousands of protesting Indian farmers are calling for a second national farmers' strike in a week to press for the quashing of three new laws on agricultural reform that they say will drive down crop prices
6:15AM ( 3 hours ago )
AP National News
Report: Cleveland Indians changing name after 105 years
The Cleveland Indians are changing their name after 105 years
11:15PM ( 10 hours ago )
Trump says he's nixing plan for early vaccine at White House
President Donald Trump says he's reversing an administration directive to vaccinate top government officials against COVID-19 while public distribution of the shot is limited to front-line health workers and people in nursing homes and long-term care facilities
11:09PM ( 10 hours ago )
COVID-19 vaccine shipments begin in historic US effort
The first of many COVID-19 vaccine doses are making their way to distribution sites across the United States, as the nation’s pandemic deaths approach the horrifying new milestone of 300,000
11:02PM ( 10 hours ago )
AP Online National News
Russia test-launches Angara A5 heavy lift space rocket
Russian military and space officials say the country has successfully test-launched its heavy lift Angara A5 space rocket for the second time
7:52AM ( 2 hours ago )
EU's chief negotiator still hopes to clinch EU-UK trade deal
European Union chief negotiator Michel Barnier said Monday he still firmly believes that a post-Brexit trade agreement is possible, and whittled down the major outstanding disputes to be settled ahead of the New Year to just two
7:42AM ( 2 hours ago )
The Latest: Family doctors start offering vaccine in England
Family doctors in England are set to start COVID-19 inoculations this week, in the latest stage of the U.K.’s mass vaccination program
6:40AM ( 3 hours ago )
AP Business
'External source' causes oil tanker blast off Saudi Arabia
A shipping firm says an explosion on a tanker off Saudi Arabia’s port of Jiddah was caused by the ship being “hit from an external source.”
9:57AM ( 1 minute ago )
US begins COVID-19 vaccinations: 'Relieved,' says nurse
The U.S. is beginning COVID-19 vaccinations, and “relieved” is the reaction of one of the first health workers to get the shot
9:48AM ( 11 minutes ago )
Census numbers-crunching documents at center of latest fight
A federal judge has rejected an emergency request from the Trump administration that would stop it from being immediately forced to release documents showing how the 2020 census numbers have been crunched in the weeks since the U.S. head count ended in October
9:46AM ( 12 minutes ago )
The Latest: US vaccine chief confident in delivering shots
Dr. Moncef Slaoui, who is leading the U.S. government’s COVID-19 vaccine effort, says he is “as confident as we can be” that the vaccine will get into the right hands
9:36AM ( 23 minutes ago )
UAW, US Attorney reach deal to reform union after scandal
The United Auto Workers and the US attorney’s office have reached a settlement to reform the union in the wake of a wide-ranging bribery and embezzlement scandal
9:07AM ( 51 minutes ago )