Among the first recipients of the vaccine are medical workers and residents of nursing homes.
On Wednesday, Alaska health officials reported a serious allergic reaction to the COVID-19 vaccine. An allergic reaction to the drug produced by Pfizer and BioNTech occurred in a medical worker at one of the hospitals in the state capital – the city of Juneau.
US public health authorities have previously warned doctors to watch out for allergic reactions to the vaccine from Pfizer and BioNTech. Last week, it became known about several similar cases in the UK, which was the first in the world to start mass vaccination of the population against coronavirus.
According to Dr. Lindy Jones, the chief physician of the emergency department of Bartlett Hospital, an allergic reaction to the vaccine occurred in one of the employees. Within 10 minutes of the injection, the woman began to choke and show symptoms of anaphylaxis – a severe allergic reaction to introducing a medical drug.
The victim was immediately resuscitated, the woman spent the night in the hospital and was discharged the next morning. Now her life is not in danger.
This message came at a time when the vaccination of residents of nursing homes began in the United States. On Tuesday, nearly 2,000 retirees were vaccinated in West Virginia, and on Wednesday, vaccination began in nursing homes in Florida. It is expected that this process will soon begin in several more states.
Elderly and infirm people in need of long-term care are among the most vulnerable categories during the pandemic. Along with medical professionals, they will be the first to receive the vaccine developed by Pfizer and BioNTech. More than a third of the 300,000 Americans who died from complications related to COVID-19 were clients or employees of nursing homes.
Florida, often referred to as the “retirement state,” has 141,000 people living in nursing homes. Here, the desire to get a vaccine is often mixed in older people with some anxiety.
“I hope this will help me protect myself from COVID,” Vera Leip, 88, a former schoolteacher who lives in a nursing home near Fort Lauderdale, told the Associated Press.
The management of the nursing home where Leip lives does not oblige its employees to be vaccinated. Only 80 of the 200 nurses working at the nursing home agreed to take part in the first stage of vaccination, according to Mark Rayner, the head physician of the facility. According to him, most people who refuse to be vaccinated are African – Americans who do not trust vaccines, remembering the sad history of conducting medical experiments on black residents of the United States in the past.
“They are afraid,” explains Rayner, “This trend exists even though we are trying to tell them [about the safety of vaccination].”