Workgroup approves second COVID-19 vaccine for use in western states


However, confusion has broken out over who exactly is considered essential during a pandemic.

During the first week of the mass immunization campaign, Pfizer shipped 2.9 million doses of its vaccine, which largely went to health-care workers and residents of long-term care facilities. "The vaccine must be transported to hospitals and other centres before injections begin".

The nation is scrambling to expand vaccinations as rapidly as Moderna and Pfizer can churn out doses.

"And, we need a coronavirus and economic relief package passed immediately", he said.

Health care workers and nursing home residents topped the list as local TV stations across the country began broadcasting scenes of the first vaccinations. That makes up 24 million people. However, Adm. Giroir said that there are almost 4,000 known mutations to the virus and there's been no evidence the new variant is more unsafe than others.

The high transmission rate of the variant led many countries, including Morocco, Ireland, Germany, France, Italy, the Netherlands, and Belgium, to suspend all flights to and from the UK.

Last week Moderna announced that the United States Government has purchased another 100 million doses of its vaccine, bringing the total number it has purchased from this company to 200 million.

"Delighted to see the first shipment of vaccines arrive in Singapore", Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong wrote on Facebook, after a Singapore Airlines flight carrying the vaccines landed from Belgium.

Still, state officials expect the spigot for vaccine doses to open up in the next few months.

The agency wasn't sure what caused the reaction, but said a chemical called polyethylene glycol, which is present in Pfizer and Moderna's coronavirus vaccine, "could be the culprit", Peter Marks, who leads the agency's Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research said.

CVS Pharmacy says it will have the capacity to administer up to 20 million to 25 million shots per month.

Earlier, U.S. officials had said they were discussing the purchase of another 100 million doses of Pfizer vaccine for delivery as early as the middle of next year. "Everybody seems to feel like they are using the supply that they have".

The Pfizer and Moderna vaccines are both messenger RNA vaccines, but the main difference between the two is, Moderna doesn't have to be kept at the ultra-cold temperature of -70 degrees Celsius.

Initial doses were given to health professionals.

CVS and other major pharmacies have launched the company's COVID-19 vaccination program, which will begin at long-term health care facilities where the population is at the highest risk to contract the virus and potentially die.