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article imageAfter slow rollout, U.S. states are ramping up COVID vaccinations

By Karen Graham     Jan 11, 2021 in Health
After a frustratingly slow rollout, the U.S. is entering the second month of the biggest vaccination drive in history - with the aim of inoculating a larger and more diverse pool of people against the deadly coronavirus.
To that end, football stadiums, major league ballparks, fairgrounds, and convention centers will be converted into temporary vaccination sites. With the slow rollout of Phase 1 of the CDC recommended vaccination schedule, states are moving to Phase1b, making shots available to such groups like senior citizens, teachers, bus drivers, police officers, and firefighters.
In the United Kingdom, where a more contagious variant of the coronavirus is running rampant through the population, seven large-scale vaccination sites - including a big convention center in London, a racecourse in Surrey, and a tennis and soccer complex in Manchester opened Monday, according to the Associated Press.
Anthony Fauci  director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases  gestures after...
Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, gestures after receiving his first dose of the Covid-19 vaccine at the National Institutes of Health
Patrick Semansky, POOL/AFP
Across the United States, where the virus is surging unabated, the number of confirmed cases has risen to 22,515,032, while the death toll now stands at 375,239, according to the latest data from Johns Hopkins University.
Even though the Trump administration promised to vaccinate 20 million by the end of the year - very little funding was provided to the states to achieve the goal. As it turns out, Last week, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said about 15.4 million vaccine doses have been distributed in the US, but only 4.5 million people have received their first doses.
As of today, January 11, nearly 9 million Americans had received their first shot, or 2.7 percent of the U.S. population, according to the CDC. Experts say as much as 85 percent of the population will have to be inoculated to achieve “herd immunity” and vanquish the outbreak.
You will not be expected to pay for a coronavirus vaccine and there’s no way for you to pay to get...
You will not be expected to pay for a coronavirus vaccine and there’s no way for you to pay to get the vaccine early, and that is a fact.
DoD photo by Lisa Ferdinando
Many states moving ahead
In Arizona, health officials began giving the coronavirus vaccine on Monday in a drive-thru, round-the-clock operation at the suburban Phoenix stadium that is home to the NFL’s Arizona Cardinals. Shots are being offered to people 75 and older, teachers, police, and firefighters.
In Texas, the city and County of Dallas opened a "mega-vaccination site" Monday at Fair Park, where officials hope to vaccinate up to 2,000 people a day.
"We will get thousands of our most vulnerable residents vaccinated at Fair Park this next week with well over 100,000 people on the list, the list growing daily, and the state giving us enough vaccines to vaccinate six to seven thousand people this week," Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins said in a statement.
Detroit is turning its TCF convention center into a vaccination center starting Wednesday, with officials planning to schedule 20,000 appointments over the next month for people 75 and older. Police officers and bus drivers can also start to get vaccinated there at the end of the week. “We are going to keep ramping up our vaccinations to the maximum extent the supply allows,” Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan said.
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