New York Nursing Home Residents May Receive COVID-19 Vaccine Before End of Year

On December 6, 2020, the Trump administration provided a timetable for the rollout of the COVID-19 vaccine. Dr. Moncef Slaoui, chief science adviser of Operation Warp Speed, announced the administration’s program for distribution and deployment of the COVID-19 vaccine and advised that residents of long-term-care facilities will receive the first round of vaccinations by mid-January, perhaps even by the end of December.

Speaking on ABC’s “This Week” on Sunday, Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar said: “If things are on track the advisory committee goes well, I believe we could see FDA authorization within days.” If the FDA does authorize the vaccine this week, distribution could begin by the end of the week. “By the end of the month of January, we should already see quite a significant decrease in mortality in the elderly population,” Slaoui said on CNN’s “State of the Union.”

If there are unexpected issues, the hope is that most high-risk Americans could be vaccinated by mid-March, with the rest of the population by May or June.

The United Kingdom has already approved a vaccine and has begun immunizing its population this week. Regulators are still examining data on the vaccine’s safety and effectiveness. Notably, a warning was issued advising people with histories of allergic reactions against getting the vaccine. British health officials have reported that two health care workers, who received the vaccine, experienced symptoms after receiving the shot the day before. Both reportedly had a significant history of severe allergic reactions and carried adrenaline auto injectors.

Although elderly or immunocrompised people may need a booster of the vaccine in three-to-five years, the vaccine should be effective. In his interview, Slaoui appeared optimistic about the long-term protection from the vaccine in the United States.

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