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COVID-19 Vaccine: Tri-State Area Hospitals Expect First Shipments To Arrive As Soon As Monday

HUNTINGTON, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) -- The first doses of the COVID-19 vaccine are being boxed for shipment as the U.S. is on the cusp of losing 300,000 people since the start of the pandemic.

The vaccine is on its way to 636 locations nationwide, stacked on airplanes and delivery trucks.

Making sure not one single dose of vaccine gets left behind on a shelf, UPS and FedEx are working on it around the clock.

"Our goal is to move COVID-19 vaccine shipments as safely and quickly as possible," said Richard W. Smith, vice president of global support for FedEx.

MORE -- FDA Approves Pfizer Vaccine For Emergency Distribution

Months of data was reviewed, resulting in fast-track approval for Pfizer's vaccine, which our nation's leaders say was nonetheless thorough. They praise the vaccine's quick rollout and its safety.

"Today, our nation has achieved a medical miracle," President Donald Trump said.

"You should have confidence in this," President-elect Joe Biden said.


The first shipment is expected to arrive at area hospitals, including Northwell Huntington Hospital on Long Island, Monday or Tuesday, CBS2's Dave Carlin reports.

"And they're going to start inoculating people Tuesday, Wednesday, somewhere around that time," said Dr. David Buchin, director of bariatric surgery at Huntington Hospital. "Health care workers are going to be first. A lot of the nursing home patients are also going to be first, so there is going to be a track record ... And any side effects, we're gonna see throughout, and the normal person will see that it's good and people are doing well with it."

New Yorkers are split on whether or not they'll get the vaccine right away.

"At least it will help us stop the spread of this virus," one man said, adding he will get vaccinated.

"I have to find out some more information first," one woman said.

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Because not every kind of patient was included in vaccine safety trials, doctors will have to decide for some people case-by-case.

"But for pregnant women and the immunocompromised at this point, it will be something that providers will need to consider on an individual basis," said Dr. Peter Marks, director of the FDA Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research.

"I will get the vaccine as soon as it is made available to me. I will do it publicly," Dr. Anthony Fauci said.

RELATED STORY -- New Poll Shows 35% Of American Women Are Not Interested In Getting COVID Vaccine

"I do believe that it is a safe vaccine, and I will take it myself," Buchin said. "This is really the only way to get out of the current situation that we're in.

Some experts predict we must get to March or April before the vaccine slows the spread, so mask-wearing and social distancing must continue.

Meanwhile, a vaccine by Moderna is expected to be authorized next week.


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