The United States will begin offering Covid-19 vaccines in pharmacies from February 11. This is part of an effort to rapidly increase the rate at which shots reach the guns.
White House Covid-19 Response Coordinator Jeff Zients told reporters Tuesday that due to supply shortages, the program would initially be limited to 6,500 participating pharmacies nationwide before eventually expanding to 40,000.
“This will provide more places for people to get vaccinated in their communities. And it’s an important component of fair vaccination,” he said.
Large chains like Walgreens, CVS Pharmacy, Walmart, and Rite Aid are among the participants, and the program is designed to operate on an appointment basis as individuals become eligible based on their priority group.
The administration will dispense 1 million doses to pharmacies in the first week, in addition to 10.5 million doses it will distribute to states and other territories starting this week.
Government grants have increased 22 percent since President Joe Biden’s administration took office on Jan. 20.
More than 32.2 million shots have been administered to date, with nearly six million people receiving both doses of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines, according to the latest official data.
After initial shortages, states are increasing their vaccine delivery rate while the federal government works with vaccine manufacturers to try to increase supply.
Biden’s government targets 150 million shots injected in the first 100 days of its office – April 20th.
Virus versus vaccine race
Authorities are widely expected to release a third emergency vaccine soon after Johnson & Johnson announced results of a multi-continent study last week that showed its shot was effective, particularly against severe Covid.
While the J & J vaccine is less protective than the Pfizer and Moderna vaccine, it has the advantage that it is one-time and can be stored at refrigerator temperatures rather than in freezers.
Also on Tuesday, the Biden government announced that it would reimburse states for their Covid-related emergency funds and National Guard deployments that go back to January 2020. This would free up $ 3 to 5 billion that states could then use to launch vaccines.
Scientists warn that the world is now in a race between vaccines and the coronavirus.
If the virus replicates out of control, it increases the likelihood that it will mutate in ways that reduce the protection of current vaccines or make other benefits like more contagious or even deadly.
Current vaccines and synthetic antibody treatments have already been shown to be less effective against a variant first identified in South Africa.
This variant also poses a significant reinfection risk for people who were previously infected with the more common strain of the coronavirus, research has shown, especially if their cases were mild and they did not show a strong antibody response.
(Except for the headline, this story was not edited by GossipMantri staff and posted from a syndicated feed.)