Washington: The first shipments of the Pfizer-BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine will begin arriving in US states from Monday, an official of President Donald Trump’s administration said.
Shipping companies UPS and FedEx will deliver the vaccine to nearly 150 state locations, Xinhua news agency quoted Gustave Perna, chief operating officer of Operation Warp Speed, as saying on Saturday.
Perna said the vaccine was timed to arrive on Monday morning so that health workers would be available to receive the shots and then begin giving them.
The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on Friday issued authorization for emergency use of the Covid-19 vaccine of American drugmaker Pfizer in partnership with German company BioNTech, the first vaccine against the disease in the country.
The emergency use authorization allows the vaccine to be distributed in the country.
The FDA said the totality of the available data provides clear evidence that Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine may be effective in preventing the virus.
The data also show that the known and potential benefits outweigh the known and potential risks, supporting the vaccine’s use in millions of people 16 years of age and older, said the FDA.
Perna’s announcement comes as the US set yet another record for single-day Covid cases after more than 244,000 people tested positive for the virus.
In its latest update on Saturday, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported 244,011 new cases and 3,013 fatalities, which increased the overall infection tally and death toll to 16,045,596 and 297,789, respectively.
The new data brought the seven-day average daily case increase to a record-high of more than 209,000 cases, and the seven-day average daily death increase to nearly 2,400, highest since late April.
There are over 108,000 people currently hospitalized due to the disease across the US, a new all-time record since the onset of the pandemic, according to the COVID Tracking Project.