The first trucks carrying the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine for distribution in the U.S. were being prepared to leave a Michigan manufacturing plant Sunday, offering hope that a mass rollout will alleviate the strain on hospitals and medical staff.
The big picture: Coronavirus hospitalizations are soaring and surging case numbers surpassed 16 million Saturday. Some 3 million vaccine doses are being distributed this week. Health care workers are being prioritized for inoculations. NIAID director Anthony Fauci stressed to Axios there's still a fair way to go, with 75%–80% of Americans needing to get vaccinated.
Healthcare workers carry signs in support of resident physicians, interns and fellows at UCLA Health as they protest for improved COVID-19 testing and workplace safety policies outside of UCLA Medical Center in Los Angeles, California, Dec. 9. Photo: Patrick T. Fallon/AFP via Getty Images
Medical staff members dance to a Christmas song at nursing station in the COVID-19 intensive care unit at the United Memorial Medical Center in Houston, Texas, on Dec. 10. Photo: Go Nakamura/Getty Images
A nurse writes a note to communicate with staff outside the room of a Covid-19 positive patient at UMass Memorial Hospital in Worcester, Massachusetts on Dec. 4. Photo: Allison Dinner/AFP via Getty Images
A testing site in a parking lot at Bergen Community College run by Bergen County and the Bergen New Bridge Medical Center on Dec. 3, 2020 in Paramus, New Jersey. Photo: David Dee Delgado/Getty Images
Health care workers prepare COVID-19 tests to hand out to people who self-administer the tests at Long Beach City College-Veterans Memorial Stadium on Wednesday, Dec. 9 in Long Beach, California. Photo: Allen J. Schaben/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images
A staff member holds a bag of appreciation gifts during a Christmas party at the Goodwin House senior living community center in Arlington, Virginia, on Dec. 10. Photo: Andrew Caballero-Reynolds/AFP via Getty Images
Go deeper: Hospitals prepare to vaccinate workers