More Americans say they are willing to receive a COVID-19 vaccine; 50 million doses have been administered during President Joe Biden's first 5 weeks in office; FDA allows Pfizer vaccine to be stored at standard freezer temperatures.
New findings from the KFF COVID-19 Vaccine Monitor show a majority of US adults (55%) say they have received at least 1 dose of the vaccine (18%) or that they will get one as soon as it is available (37%), marking an increase from 47% in January and 34% in December. Meanwhile, the percentage of those who wish to “wait and see” how the vaccine works in others before getting vaccinated has decreased from 31% in January to 22% in February. Fifteen percent of individuals surveyed said they will “definitely not get vaccinated,” while nearly 4 in 10 Republicans and 3 in 10 rural Americans say they will either “definitely not” get the vaccine or “only do so if required” for work or education purposes.
Thursday, the Biden administration marked the 50 millionth dose of COVID-19 vaccine administration since the president took office, the Associated Press reports. The milestone comes days after the United States reported half a million lives lost from COVID-19. According to Biden, the administration is on track to exceed its goal of administering 100 million shots within his first 100 days in office. Forty-five million Americans have received at least 1 dose of the approved Pfizer/BioNTech or Moderna vaccines and over 20 million have received both doses. The president predicts that enough vaccine will be ready to administer to anyone who wants it by late spring but cautioned vaccine hesitancy may hinder uptake.
The FDA has approved storing Pfizer/BioNTech’s COVID-19 vaccine in standard freezer temperatures for up to 2 weeks to help ease delivery and storage, The Hill reports. When the vaccine was granted an emergency use authorization (EUA) from the FSA, it was required to be stored in freezers at –112° F to –76° F, posing a challenge to areas not equipped with the ultra-cold freezers. The move comes after Pfizer applied to the FDA for less-stringent storage requirements based on results of studies on safe storage temperatures.