US vaccinations ramp up as 2nd COVID-19 shot nears

WASHINGTON (AP) — Hundreds more U.S. hospitals have started inoculating their workers as a second COVID-19 vaccine moves toward government authorization. About 400 hospitals and other health care facilities were getting first shipments of the Pfizer vaccine on Tuesday. The expansion comes one day after the nation’s death toll surpassed a staggering 300,000. Nurses and other health workers volunteered to be among the first recipients, hoping to dispel fears over safety. The Food and Drug Administration says a second potential COVID-19 vaccine, developed by Moderna, appears safe and highly effective. An expert panel will publicly review the shot on Thursday, and clearance from the FDA is expected soon afterward.