The long-awaited COVID-19 vaccine, produced by the pharmaceutical company Pfizer, has arrived in Alabama. The University of Alabama at Birmingham said Tuesday that it has received its first shipments of the vaccine.
UAB said it will begin administering the vaccine later this week after the FDA and the CDC approved the vaccine over the weekend, beginning the largest vaccination effort in U.S. history.
“A light in the pandemic tunnel is here,” UAB posted to its Facebook page.
UAB received its allotment of 10,725 doses of the vaccine. They are now safely stored, a UAB spokesperson said.
According to the Alabama Department of Public Health’s plan, the first shipments of the vaccine will be administered to front-line hospital personnel, clinical staff and emergency medical services at greatest risk from coronavirus. Nursing homes are to begin receiving vaccines in the second week.
Public health officials are still pleading with the public to wear masks, socially distance and avoid gatherings over Christmas with anyone outside of your household.
It will be many months before vaccines are widely available to the public.