The United States of America is now rolling out the COVID-19 vaccine, starting with New York City. High-risk health care workers are expected to be given priority, and hospitals in all 50 states are scrambling to prepare. Australia and New Zealand intend to establish a travel bubble.
The first round of shots were given in an American mass vaccination campaign on Monday morning. This opens a new chapter in the fight against the coronavirus pandemic which in all killed more people in the U.S. than any other country.
The first known clinically authorized vaccination took place in Long Island Jewish Medical Center in Queens, New York. The pandemic having scarred New York profoundly leaving 35,000 dead and severely weakening the economy.
President Trump posted on Twitter: “First Vaccine Administered. Congratulations USA! Congratulations WORLD!”
Shortly afterward, Mayor Bill de Blasio of New York City said at a news conference: “To me, we were watching an incredibly historic moment, and the beginning of something much better for this city and this country.”
In Iowa City, Iowa, David Conway, a 39-year-old emergency room nurse, received the vaccine, and in Columbus, Ohio, Dr. Mark Conroy, 41, an emergency medicine physician, did, too.
“It was pure excitement on my part,” said Dr. Conroy, the medical director of the emergency department at Ohio State University Hospital, who added that he had lost friends to the virus.
On Sunday, trucks and cargo planes packed with the first of nearly three million doses of coronavirus vaccine had fanned out across the country, as hospitals in all 50 states rushed to set up injection sites and their anxious workers tracked each shipment hour by hour. But the rollout is less centralized in the United States than in other countries that are racing to distribute it.