So, when will you be vaccinated?
After the U.S. for the past eleven months became backed into the corner with COVID-19, Sunday we took the first step to fight ourselves out with a Pfizer vaccine. The fight started Sunday morning, December 13, 2020.
5:00 am CST
After 17 years of study that began with Sars, sciences ended with a record-breaking development of less than a year to identify, develop, and ship a vaccine. Unknown to many, a black American woman developed the vaccine for Pfizer.
In the Pfizer plant at Portage, Indiana, workers started packing the first boxes with little glass vials containing enough vaccine for five people each. Each box had 1,000 vials. Workers began taking the lifesaver out of large freezers, maintaining a -68C or -90.4F, to keep Pfizer and BioNTech SE’s mRNA-based vaccine. After thawing, the vaccine is usable for about five days. They placed six large containers on a pallet.
6:10 am CST
Pfizer workers used a cone-shaped insert to distribute dry ice into each equally before attaching a thermal detector, tracking device, and shipping label to each box. Workers broke out in applause as they placed the last box on the final pallet with “Science Will Win” on each. A forklift then moved the pallets onto UPS, Fed-Ex, and a Boyle trailer with 189 boxes. The truck’s destination was 900 miles away at Memphis, Tennessee’s Fed-Ex, and Louisville, Kentucky’s UPS hubs. Fed-Ex is handling west of the Mississippi, and UPS takes the vaccine to the east for 145 recipients in all 50 states. The states then will pair up a kit containing items to administer the vaccine to its final destination.
7:29 am CST
Sunday’s shipment moved off Pfizer’s property containing enough vaccine for 2.9 million people. U.S. Marshalls escorted the three trucks to Lancing, Michigan’s Capital Regional International Airport up I-94, about a two and a half-hour drive. Lancing’s airport is one that you can arrive at thirty minutes before your flight without a problem. It’s International only because of its flights to Cancun. Fed-Ex and UPS 757 aircraft carrying the vaccine will have flight priority at airports they are using today.
Texas expects 225,000 individual vaccination, and Houston, the site of the world’s largest medical community, is waiting for 59,000 vials that should arrive by Sunday evening.
Titus County’s Judge Brian Lee says we should be thankful that we live in Texas because the state will receive enough vaccine for 9.4 million people. The exceptions for not receiving the vaccine are those under 16 years old and those with allergies or pregnant moms who need to consult their health provider.
The first to receive the vaccine will be health care providers and first responders. Participants who Pfizer tested report shot location soreness and fatigue. The vaccination is a Texas two-step dance. A follow up is required in 20 days after the first shot. Pfizer says the first shot will provide 53 percent protection, and the follow-up provides around 95 percent immunity. The vaccine blocks the spikes or hooks from the COVID-19 from attaching to human cells. What is still unknown is if we continue to spread the virus after receiving the vaccine, despite being immune. That means we will even need masks for a while, but we won’t have to worry about landing in ICU.
Second Quarter 2021
With the current distribution and those who have priority, you won’t have to worry about rolling up your sleeve until possibly as early as May. That could change if the Federal Drug Administration approves more vaccines from other companies meeting the three phases that the U.S. requires for public safety.
CDC’s breaks down the distribution into the following priorities.
1A – Front line workers in hospitals and nursing homes, long term care facilities, now
1B – Teachers, first responders, and food handlers, January, February, March
1C – Those 65 and older and anybody in at-risk population March, April May
General Population – May and after.
They are routing the first vaccine according to population data. Cities in Northeast Texas receiving the first shipment included the following, Texarkana 975, Longview 975, Greenville 975, Terrell 975, and Tyler 3,900. Sources we spoke with did not have information at this time on distribution from those five cities.