As the COVID-19 pandemic ravages the USA, vaccines have begun to be distributed across the country and its territories. Two different vaccines, one made by Pfizer-BioNTech and another from Moderna, have been authorized for emergency use and are part of the widespread distribution process. The first shots were given Dec. 14, and states are able to place new orders every week.
More COVID-19 cases are being recorded this winter than at any previous period of the pandemic. Many states struggle to administer vaccines at the same rate the vaccines are shipped.
Anyone age 16 or older can receive the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine, but the Moderna vaccine is authorized only for adults. States prioritize at-risk populations to be vaccinated first, including medical staff, people in nursing homes or other long-term care facilities, essential workers, the elderly and people with medical conditions that put them at greater risk of becoming seriously ill with COVID-19.