Coronavirus: Retail pharmacy chains could be US vaccination centers – WSJ

Coronavirus: U.S. retail pharmacy chains could be vaccination centers - WSJ - We The World
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A number of US retail pharmacy chains have agreed to partake in a federal government plan where the commercial outlets would double as vaccine centers in the mammoth vaccination exercise., the Wall Street Journal said.

As per the report, some of the nation’s major pharmacy outlets including CVS Health Corp, Walmart Inc, Walgreens Boots Alliance Inc, Kroger Co., and Costco Wholesale Corp are among the names which have agreed to the plan.

The top US infectious disease expert Dr. Anthony Fauci said if plans go well, the first effective and safe dose of vaccine will be out by the end of December to the high-risk American citizens.

Even under the federal government plans. priority will be given to the high-risk group which includes the nation’s frontline healthcare workers and the elderly populations, both of which are more susceptible to the disease.

Fauci said based on the tipping points of progress by the current vaccine leaders — Pfizer Inc. and Moderna Inc. — America will know by December if a safe and effective vaccine will be out later that month.

According to the WSJ report, the federal government will deliver the vaccines for free to the retail chains, which will serve the second stage of the national vaccination plan where ordinary citizens will be jabbed.

Supplying the vaccines via the retail chains widespread across the nation, the government is looking forward to making more vaccines available to the population uniformly over time.

A few of the world’s most promising vaccine candidates are from the US, including Johnson & Johnson, which has a contract with the federal government for supplying hundreds of millions of doses if found safe and effective.

Moderna on Thursday said it was ready to submit interim data on the large-scale clinical trial next month. Pfizer will follow the suit sometime after the November 3 elections, in all probability, media report confirms.

Once the data is out, the CDC and the FDA will assess the efficacy of the two vaccines, and then it will be determined who gets the first dose if the trials are successful.

Coronavirus has taken a turn for the worst in the US, with tens of states encountering record spikes as winter sets in. The third wave COVID-19 is taking a thousand lives on average with no signs of slowing down.

On Friday, the US recorded 97,080 new cases — a record-breaking surge, The COVID Tracking Project noted and followed by 88,452 cases of the preceding day.

“We are not ready for this wave,” the dean of the Brown University school of public health, Ashish Jha, warned on ABC’s Good Morning America show, Thursday.

Over 222k people have died so far in the US, Johns Hopkins tally showed Friday, although the death toll is still below the Spring peak.

Healthcare experts have been warning for months over a potential explosion of new cases as the nation enters the flu season which strikes every winter.

A worrying rise has been documented in a number of US states like New York, which was the epicenter of the pandemic in Summer. States like North Dakota has recorded a worrying rise in the number of cases in recent weeks.

With the growing number of cases, the country’s healthcare system is on the heels, struggling to contain the surge in hospitalization and deaths, for the third time since the pandemic began.

COVID-19 cases surpassed the 9 million mark on Friday, as the world records over half-a-million cases for the first time on Thursday.

“It is as severe an indictment of a president’s record as one can possibly imagine, and it is utterly disqualifying,” Democratic presidential elect Joe Biden said on Friday.

The US is heading toward the Presidential elections and is remarkably engaged in it, even as the nation is the world’s worst-affected by the pandemic.

Current president Donald Trump, even after contacting the virus himself has time and again downplayed the threat in the recent election rallies. He has tried to project an image of America that has re-bound from the perils of the virus, which cannot be any farther from the truth.

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