iNDICA NEWS BUREAU-
All states in the U.S. have begun vaccine rollout to curb the spread of COVID-19, which has caused over two million deaths worldwide, according to reporting by the New York Times. Among the states with the highest administered doses are California, New York, Florida, Pennsylvania and Illinois.
The Pfizer vaccine was granted emergency use authorization on Dec. 11 while the Moderna vaccine was given the same authorization on Dec. 18, according to science news.org. Since then, more than 39.7 million doses have been administered in 51 countries, according to data collected and reported by Bloomberg.
California has administered over three and a half million of those doses as of Jan. 15, according to data reported by the New York Times. However, that number still only accounts for a very small percentage of the state’s population of nearly 40 million people, according to the United States Census Bureau.
“The State is prioritizing vaccines for equitable distribution to everyone in California who wants it. We expect to have enough supplies to vaccinate most Californians in all 58 counties by summer 2021,” California’s COVID website said.
The state is administering first to healthcare workers and long term care residents. The next groups that will be able to receive the vaccination are those who are at high risk for severe illness, those who are unable to work from home, those who live or work in areas that have experienced a high impact of the virus and those who are more likely to spread the disease to other workers or the public, the website said.
Age also plays into the prioritization of vaccine distribution. Phase 1B of the distribution includes individuals 65 and older, and Phase 1C includes individuals between 50 and 64 in age.
“A group of experts and a group of community representatives work together to make sure vaccines are prioritized fairly,” the website said.
New York State, Illinois and Pennsylvania have been applying similar screening measures in the prioritization of its vaccine rollout. Healthcare workers, staff and residents of long term care facilities have been and will continue to be key recipients, while groups such as those over 65 in age, police and grocery store workers are also at the front of the line.
Nonetheless, New York has been experiencing issues in receiving the number of vaccines needed to cater to all qualifying groups.
“The Federal Government determines how much vaccine New York State receives,” New York’s COVID website said. “The Federal Government has only given New York approximately 250,000 vaccines/week for over 7 million people who are eligible – as a result supply is very limited.”
Other states, such as California and Washingtion, are also having trouble in receiving the number of vaccines from the federal government in conjunction with the enormity of their eligible populations. President-Elect Joe Biden, whose inauguration will take place Jan. 20, has released his plan to address COVID-19 aggressively by getting 100 million shots administered to the population within his first 100 days in office.