One Million People Have Received the COVID-19 Vaccine in America

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AstraZeneca says late-stage trials of its COVID-19 vaccine were "highly effective'' in preventing disease. A vaccine developed by AstraZeneca and the University of Oxford prevented 70% of people from developing the coronavirus in late-stage trials, the team reported Monday Nov. 23, 2020. (Siphiwe Sibeko/Pool via AP)

The United States achieved an early but important milestone on December 23, with over 1 million people now having received their first dose of COVID-19 vaccine.

The Food and Drug Administration approved the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine on December 12 and the distribution began on December 14.

The CDC Director Robert R. Redfield says the inoculation comes at an important time for America.

“With cases of COVID-19 continuing to surge nationwide, this achievement comes at a critical time and will help to protect those on the frontlines – our healthcare providers treating COVID-19 patients – as well as our most vulnerable: elder individuals living in nursing homes and assisted living facilities,” he said in a statement.

Redfield noted that there is currently a limited supply of COVID-19 vaccine in the U.S., but supply will increase in the weeks and months to come. He says the goal is for everyone to be able to easily get vaccinated against COVID-19 as soon as large enough quantities are available.

The CDC has urged Americans to embrace proven public health strategies including social distancing, good hand hygiene, and wearing a mask in public to reduce the risk of transmission.

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