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First nursing home residents get COVID-19 vaccine as rollout expands

First nursing home residents get COVID vaccine
First nursing home residents get COVID vaccine as rollout expands 02:59

The distribution of the coronavirus vaccine has expanded to nursing homes days after the first doses were given. 

More than a third of the 306,000 COVID-19 deaths have come from long-term care facilities and nursing home residents, according to the COVID Tracking Project. Workers in West Virginia and Florida were at the front of the line to get their first dose of the vaccine. 

Members of the military are also getting immunized as the Pfizer vaccine rollout continues across the country. 

CBS News had exclusive access as more than 4,800 doses of the vaccine arrived at UC Davis Medical Center in Sacramento. Upon arrival, the vials were immediately put into an ultra-cold freezer. They were then taken out in small batches, labeled and thawed. 

Dr. Nate Kupperman was among the first to get the shot. "With this immunization, I now know I will not die from this disease," he said. 

But there have been reports of a glitch affecting vials in California and Alabama. The vials have arrived too cold to process and thousands of potential doses will be replaced. 

There have been other reports of recipients having side effects. A middle-aged healthcare worker in Juneau, Alaska, had an allergic reaction within 10 minutes of getting the vaccine. The Food and Drug Administration issued a reminder Wednesday that people with severe allergies to vaccines should refrain from taking it at this time. 

Along with hope comes so much despair. 

California reported nearly 54,000 new coronavirus cases in one day, the highest ever for any state. The state's hospitalizations and deaths are also at record levels. Hospital employees, like Marcia Santini, are now out sick. 

"This was like someone punched me in the gut and ripped my heart out and I'm thinking how could this have happened we were so careful," Santini said. 

A new CDC report shows a majority of children with coronavirus got it from their families, not from their classmates. 

Dr. Anthony Fauci, the federal government's top infectious disease expert, said he's hopeful Americans will take the vaccine when it becomes widely available in the spring. "If we do that, we will get a veil or an umbrella of herd immunity over the population that would dramatically diminish the dynamics of the outbreak," Fauci said. 

After battling COVID-19 since November and giving birth while in the hospital, Natalhie Herrera finally got to go home this week to hold her 1-month-old baby boy, Felippe, for the first time. 

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