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CT hospitals stand ready to receive shipments and begin first vaccinations

It is expected the state will receive its first doses of the COVID-19 vaccinations within the coming days.

CONNECTICUT, USA — Connecticut is on the clock to receive doses of Pfizer’s COVID vaccine. Hospitals say they are ready and able to begin administering the vaccine in a matter of hours following final authorization from the FDA.

We know healthcare workers are first in line to get the shot, but more specifically, the first two to three weeks will focus on vaccinating emergency room and intensive care unit workers who interact with COVID patients.

It’s our best shot. Dr. Patrick Troy of Hartford Hospital said, "If we are looking for a way to not just push the curve down but to crush the curve." 

Connecticut hospitals stand ready. Eric Arlia, the Director of Systems Pharmacy for Hartford Healthcare said, "We do expect that the EAU for the Pfizer vaccine is imminent after Thursday’shearing." Authorization could come hours later. "The CDC has told us that they will ship the vaccine within 24 hours of approval," said Arlia. Doses could reach COVID facing healthcare workers shortly after that. "We will be prepared and ready to receive the vaccine as early as Friday."

It's Connecticut’s shot in the arm to crush the curve. "The right thing for ourselves. The right thing for our families, for our neighbors our coworkers, and our classmates. Quite frankly, the more of us that do this the more effective it’s going to be," said Dr. Troy.

The FDA independently reviewed the vaccine. Let’s break it down. Safety and effectiveness - starting with effectiveness. "The efficacy or effectiveness of the vaccine is striking. It’s striking across every group you can imagine independent of age, gender, or race," said Troy. It's about 50% effective 14 days after the first dose. 95% 15 days after the second dose and 100% are effective in preventing serious COVID disease.

To safety now - full transparency - side effects are possible and are expected. "There's a reasonable chance in the 5-10% range for the following symptoms. Pain at the injection site, muscle aches, fatigue, and at least than 5%, fever." Side effects are more common following the second dose. Doctors say feeling fatigue is a signal that your body is responding. "Has everything to do with the fact that that is your immune system waking up," said Troy.

Make no mistake, the vast majority of the symptoms you can experience are mild to moderate and they typically last 24 hours or less. The cure is much better than the disease.

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