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US Covid vaccinations could start on December 14, health and human services secretary says

US Covid vaccinations could start on December 14, health and human services secretary says
Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar has announced that the US is expected to start its Covid-19 vaccination program as early as Monday after the FDA said it intends to authorize the Pfizer/BioNTech jab.

Speaking on ABC News's Good Morning America, Azar told viewers that the Trump administration is expecting the FDA to approve the Pfizer vaccine in the next few days, with doctors prepared to start providing vaccinations next week.

"We will work with Pfizer and get that shipped out so we could be seeing people getting vaccinated Monday, Tuesday."

On Thursday, a panel of experts who were selected by the FDA to examine and authorize the virus voted to approve its use, indicating that a formal decision could come shortly. Once the US has begun inoculating individuals, Azar said they plan to ensure that 20 million Americans will be vaccinated in the next few weeks, 50 million by the end of January, and around 100 million in February. 

During the HHS secretary's appearance, President Donald Trump took to Twitter to demand that the head of the FDA "get the dam (sic) vaccines out now," calling on them to "stop playing games and start saving lives."

Also on rt.com Trump calls FDA a 'big, old, slow turtle' and instructs chief to ‘get the damn vaccine out NOW’

The Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine is already being used in the UK and Canada. However, the initial rollout in the UK has had some problems, with two healthcare workers experiencing allergic reactions after receiving the jab. To prevent a similar situation in the US, the FDA is expected to issue guidance that warns people who have a history of significant allergic reactions to avoid the vaccine. 

The infection rate in America hit a record high on Thursday, with the US reporting over 230,000 new infections, taking the total number of cases in the country since the start of the pandemic to 15,203,208.

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