The Covid-19 vaccine developed by Pfizer and BioNTech became the first to be approved for use when the United Kingdom gave it the green light. The UK’s decision came as a welcome move as it signalled the end of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
After UK, the United States also approved the vaccine for emergency use in the country. On Monday, the United States kicked off a mass vaccination drive hoping to turn the tide on the world’s biggest coronavirus outbreak, as the country’s death toll neared a staggering 300,000. Canada, too, administered its first doses of a Covid-19 vaccine, becoming one of the first countries to do so in the effort to beat the pandemic.
Singapore too approved the Pfizer-BioNTech coronavirus vaccine, and expects to receive the first shipments of the shots by the end of December.
However, Pfizer’s CEO Albert Bourla has not received his own company’s vaccine yet. According to a report by CNN, Bourla said that neither he nor other company executives will be cutting the line to get their hands on the jabs first. Bourla was speaking to CNN’s Sanjay Gupta when he explained why he wouldn’t be one of the first people in the world to get vaccinated against Covid-19.
There are limited doses available as vaccination begins in the US and the health authorities are prioritising the most vulnerable groups and healthcare workers fighting the pandemic from the frontline for the vaccine. Hence, Bourla feels that it would be unfair if he were to cut the queue and get the vaccine first.
Bourla also asserted that he was not a frontline worker; he said that he is 59 years old and in good health — hence, it would not be appropriate for him to get the vaccine first.
The Pfizer CEO also asked people to trust science and said that this vaccine had been prepared without “cutting corners.”
However, the fact that Bourla is not choosing to get vaccinated first has raised eyebrows; for many, this comes across as “something fishy”. For instance, one Twitter user also pointed out that Bourla getting the vaccine would set a great example and would encourage more people to go for it.
Pfizer‘a CEO says he won’t get the vaccine because he doesn’t want to cut the line. Seems awfully suspicious
— Kevin Sorbo (@ksorbs) December 15, 2020
A nurse in New York became the first person in the US to be vaccinated when she received the Pfizer-BioNTech shot live on television. “I feel great. I feel relieved,” said Sandra Lindsay, a critical care nurse at the Long Island Jewish Medical Center, imploring all Americans to “to do our part” by getting vaccinated. “I hope this marks the beginning of the end of the very painful time in our history,” she added.
The landmark moment comes at one of the darkest phases of the pandemic, with infections in the United States and many other countries soaring, and health experts still struggling against vaccine skepticism, lockdown fatigue and uneven adherence to safety rules.