First U.S. shots in COVID-19 vaccine campaign coming Monday, Army general says
By Michael Erman (Reuters) - The first U.S.
By Michael Erman
(Reuters) - The first U.S. shots of a newly authorized COVID-19 vaccine will be administered as early as Monday morning, with Pfizer Inc and partners aiming to start shipping on Sunday, a U.S. general organizing the rollout said.
Doses of the vaccine from Pfizer and partner BioNTech, which was authorized for use by U.S. regulators Friday, will be delivered to 145 locations around the country on Monday, said U.S. Army General Gustave Perna on a Saturday press call.
The remainder of the 636 delivery locations selected by U.S. states and territories will receive doses on Tuesday and Wednesday, he said.
With distribution imminent, top regulators sought to reassure Americans that the record fast pace was warranted and had not sacrificed safety.
"We worked quickly based on the urgency of this pandemic, not because of any other external pressure," U.S. Food and Drug Administration Commissioner Stephen Hahn said during a press conference earlier in the day.
The United States on Friday evening granted an emergency use authorization for the vaccine for people aged 16 and older. The immunization was 95% effective in preventing COVID-19 in a late-stage trial.
It is the first COVID-19 vaccine authorized in the United States, where the pandemic has killed more than 295,000 people. Britain, Canada and three other countries have already authorized the shot from U.S.-based Pfizer and German partner BioNTech.
The Trump administration has poured billions of dollars into developing vaccines and will manage the distribution and allocation to states. The first 2.9 million doses are expected to roll out of Pfizer plants in the coming days, with more shipments each week.
Healthcare workers and elderly people in long-term care facilities are expected to be the main recipients of the first wave of shots in December, with more U.S. residents becoming eligible in January. Authorities have said general availability of the vaccine is expected by April.
(Reporting by Michael Erman in New York, additional reporting by Lucia Mutikani in Washington; Writing by Caroline Humer; Editing by Daniel Wallis, Peter Henderson and Tom Brown)
This story has not been edited by Firstpost staff and is generated by auto-feed.
By Robin Emmott and John Irish | BRUSSELS/PARIS BRUSSELS/PARIS France and Germany will agree to a U.S. plan for NATO to take a bigger role in the fight against Islamic militants at a meeting with President Donald Trump on Thursday, but insist the move is purely symbolic, four senior European diplomats said.The decision to allow the North Atlantic Treaty Organization to join the coalition against Islamic State in Syria and Iraq follows weeks of pressure on the two allies, who are wary of NATO confronting Russia in Syria and of alienating Arab countries who see NATO as pushing a pro-Western agenda."NATO as an institution will join the coalition," said one senior diplomat involved in the discussions. "The question is whether this just a symbolic gesture to the United States
BEIJING Chinese President Xi Jinping on Wednesday called for greater efforts to make the country's navy a world class one, strong in operations on, below and above the surface, as it steps up its ability to project power far from its shores.China's navy has taken an increasingly prominent role in recent months, with a rising star admiral taking command, its first aircraft carrier sailing around self-ruled Taiwan and a new aircraft carrier launched last month.With President Donald Trump promising a US shipbuilding spree and unnerving Beijing with his unpredictable approach on hot button issues including Taiwan and the South and East China Seas, China is pushing to narrow the gap with the U.S. Navy.Inspecting navy headquarters, Xi said the navy should "aim for the top ranks in the world", the Defence Ministry said in a statement about his visit."Building a strong and modern navy is an important mark of a top ranking global military," the ministry paraphrased Xi as saying.