US begins distributing Covid vaccine

US begins distributing Covid vaccine

Food and Drug Administration head denies yielding to White House pressure

Aeroplanes and trucks will begin carrying the first authorised coronavirus vaccines across the US this weekend as nearly 3m doses make their way to hospitals in all 50 states.

Workers at manufacturing plants in Wisconsin and Michigan began packing doses of the vaccine made by Pfizer and its German partner BioNTech on Saturday, following the decision by the US drugs regulator to approve it on an emergency basis on Friday night.

Gustave Perna, the US Army general in charge of the federal government’s distribution efforts, told reporters on Saturday: “This is truly a historic day.”

Comparing it with the second world war, Gen Perna added: “D-Day was the beginning of the end, and that is where we are today.”

Nearly 290,000 people have died of Covid-19 in the US, according to the Covid Tracking Project — roughly the number of Americans who died in combat during the second world war.