Boston Medical Center receives its first coronavirus vaccine shipment

BOSTON (WHDH) - Boston Medical Center received its first shipment of Pfizer’s coronavirus vaccine Monday morning.

Healthcare workers unloaded 1,950 doses packed in dry ice and placed them into refrigerated storage within the facility, according to a BMC spokesperson.

“Beginning Wednesday, we will begin the first wave of vaccinations to front line health care workers, a group including doctors and nurses from our ICU and Emergency Department and patient floors that treat COVID-19 patients, but just as importantly, employees from environmental and support services, and other crucial positions that work in COVID-positive patient areas,” the spokesperson added.

A spokesperson with Tufts Medical Center said they expect to receive their first shipment Tuesday. UMass Memorial Medical Center is also gearing up for its first shipment.

Shots made by Pfizer Inc. and its German partner BioNTech are the first authorized for emergency use by the Food and Drug Administration — beginning what will become the largest vaccination campaign in U.S. history.

Several other countries also have OK’d the vaccine, including the U.K., which started vaccinating last week.

Gov. Charlie Baker announced last week that healthcare workers, first responders, and long-term care facility staff and residents would be among the first people in Massachusetts to get vaccinated.

The second phase of vaccinations is expected to occur between February and April, with vaccinations being offered to people who are high risk for COVID-19 complications, adults over the age of 65, and those working in early education, K-12, transit, grocery, utility, food and agriculture, sanitation, public works, and public health.

The vaccine will be available to the general public during phase three, which is projected to begin in April.

Vaccine experts say side effects from the shot are “quite tolerable.”

This is a developing story; stay with 7NEWS on-air and online for the latest updates.

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