Director of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Dr. Robert Redfield green-lighted an advisory committee’s recommendation for the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine to be administered to people ages 16 and older, meaning that shots of the vaccines can now be given in the U.S.

On Sunday, the first doses of vaccines were loaded onto trucks at the Pfizer plant in Portage, Michigan, and shipped across the country. Hundreds on thousand of vials have left the plant and are expected to arrive at their designated sites in U.S. states on Monday. According to Pfizer, there are five doses of vaccine per vial.

On Monday morning, a nurse in New York City became the first American to received the federally approved drug.

“It’s a very good day for America, and for the world,” Moncef Slaoui, head of the U.S.’s coronavirus vaccine efforts, told Fox News Sunday.

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The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) granted emergency use authorization to the vaccine on Friday, and the CDC’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) voted on Saturday to recommend it for people age 16 and older in the U.S.

In a statement, Redfield said he accepted the ACIP recommendation on Saturday night.

“As COVID-19 cases continue to surge throughout the U.S., CDC’s recommendation comes at a critical time. Initial COVID-19 vaccination is set to start as early as Monday and this is the next step in our efforts to protect Americans, reduce the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, and help restore some normalcy to our lives and our country,” Redfield said in a statement.

The CDC vaccine advisory committee recommended that long-term care facility residents and healthcare workers receive the shot before the rest of the country.

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According to Slaoui, the U.S. plans to distribute 40 million doses by the end of this year. It also aims to distribute 50 to 80 million additional doses by the end of February 2021.

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