Dec 15, 2020 - Health

First U.S. vaccines, 300,000-death milestone mark day of triumph and tragedy

A woman receives the covid vaccine.
Sandra Lindsay, a nurse at Long Island Jewish Medical Center, is inoculated with the COVID-19 vaccine by Michelle Chester in New York City. Photo: Mark Lennihan/Getty Images

One American became the first to receive a coronavirus vaccine outside of clinical trials yesterday, while another American became the virus' 300,000th victim in this country.

Why it matters: The milestones create an acute juxtaposition of the country's historic success in creating a vaccine for a new virus in record time, and its horrifying failure to control the pandemic in the meantime.

What we're watching: As millions of Americans get vaccinated in the coming weeks and months, thousands more will die, as the pandemic continues to be the worst its ever been.

  • The number of daily cases, hospitalizations and deaths is expected to only increase, as Americans continue to travel for the holidays and downplay the severity of the situation.
  • And yet, images of vaccines being given to health care workers across the country yesterday still serve as a reminder that there's a light at the end of this dark tunnel.
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