December 11, 2020:
On Friday, December 11, 2020, the United States Food and Drug Administration granted emergency use authorization for the nation’s first COVID-19 vaccine produced by Pfizer and BioNTech. The authorization came just days before the United States topped 300,000 deaths due to the virus. ICU nurse Sandra Lindsay at the Long Island Jewish Medical Center was the first American to receive the vaccine outside of a clinical trial on December 14, 2020.
According to the Center for Infection and Immunity, the National Institutes of Health, and the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the average time it takes to develop a vaccine is approximately 10.7 years. The COVID-19 vaccine took 11 months. (Washington Post)
The CDC recommended that Healthcare workers who are most at risk of COVID-19 exposure and long-term-care facility residents be the first groups to receive the vaccine in Phase 1a. Phase 1b will distribute to Frontline essential workers and persons aged 75 or older. Phase 1c will see the distribution of the vaccine to persons aged 65-74, persons aged 16-64 with high-risk medical conditions, and essential workers that were not recommended for Phase 1b. Phase 2 will all persons aged 16 years or older that did not fit into the earlier phases.