Distribution of the coronavirus vaccine has expanded to nursing homes days after the first doses were given.
According to the COVID Tracking Project, more than a third of the 306,000 COVID-19 deaths come from long-term care facilities and nursing home residents. Workers in West Virginia and Florida were in the front line to get their first dose of the vaccine.
Military personnel are also being immunized as the rollout of the Pfizer vaccine continues across the country.
CBS News had exclusive access because more than 4,800 doses of the vaccine arrived at UC Davis Medical Center in Sacramento. Upon arrival, the bottles were immediately placed in an ultra-cold freezer. They were then taken out in small quantities, labeled and thawed.
Dr. Nate Kupperman was one of the first to get the shot. “With this immunization, I now know that I will not die from this disease,” he said.
But there have been reports of a bottle failure in California and Alabama. The bottles arrived too cold to process and thousands of possible doses will be replaced.
There have been other reports of recipients with side effects. A middle-aged health worker in Juneau, Alaska, had an allergic reaction within 10 minutes of receiving the vaccine. The Food and Drug Administration issued a reminder on Wednesday that people with severe allergies to vaccines should refrain from using them at this time.
So much despair comes with hope.
California reported nearly 54,000 new coronavirus cases in one day, the highest ever for any state. The hospitalizations and deaths in the state are also at an all-time high. Hospital workers, such as Marcia Santini, are now sick.
“This was like someone punched me in the stomach and ripped my heart out and I think this is what happened because we were so careful,” Santini said.
A new CDC report shows that a majority of children with coronavirus got it from their families, not their classmates.
Dr. Anthony Fauci, the federal government’s top infectious disease expert, said he is hopeful Americans will take the vaccine when it becomes widely available in the spring. “If we do that, we will have a veil or an umbrella of herd immunity over the population that would dramatically reduce the dynamics of the outbreak,” Fauci said.
After battling COVID-19 since November and giving birth in hospital, Natalhie Herrera was finally allowed to go home this week to hold her 1-month-old son, Felippe, for the first time.