Washington [US], December 15 (ANI): Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar on Monday (local time) urged the public not to let their guard down against the COVID-19 disease.
According to Fox News, Azar and US Surgeon General Jerome Adams joined faculty and administrators of George Washington University Hospital when the first dose of the vaccine was administered.
"We're here today because of the extraordinary medical achievement our country has delivered this week through President Trump's 'Operation Warp Speed,'" HHS Secretary Azar said as quoted by Fox News adding, "Today health care providers across America are going to work to administer vaccines to those most vulnerable and their coworkers."
Pfizer and BioNTech's coronavirus vaccine have been through the regulatory process and additional stringent review processes before it was granted emergenc use authorisation (EUA) by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the HHS secretary added.
"At 95 per cent efficacy, this vaccine is extraordinary at protecting you from the virus... Getting vaccinated will help keep you, your family and your country safe," Azar said.
Fox News further reported that five health care workers received the first of the two-dose vaccine during the press conference and the second dose will be given in about three weeks.
"Vaccinations have been a tried and true public health measure for hundreds of years, but the development of a COVID-19 vaccine is nothing short of revolutionary," Adams said and added that the focus must now move from focussing on vaccines to actually vaccinating people.
Azar said vaccine administration is the first step towards a lengthy battle against the virus where the public would have to continue to practice public health measures.
"We need you to be vigilant, we need you to do that because we want everybody who is here now to be here next year for the holiday season... Now is not the time to let our guard down. This is not the end of our battle against COVID but today marks a critical milestone in the ultimate defeat of COVID-19," he said.
United States President Donald Trump on Monday congratulated the world after the administration of the first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine in the country, which has recorded the highest number of cases globally.
Trump took to Twitter and announced, "First Vaccine Administered. Congratulations USA! Congratulations WORLD!."
The US FDA on Friday approved Pfizer's COVID-19 vaccine for emergency use across the country.
After that Trump had tweeted, "People working in the White House should receive the vaccine somewhat later in the program, unless specifically necessary." (ANI)