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Source: United States House of Representatives – Congressman Gregorio Kilili Camacho Sablan (Northern Mariana Islands)

The Marianas is expected to receive an initial shipment of 5,850 doses of a COVID-19 vaccine within days, enough to cover a first-priority group of healthcare workers, first responders, and high-risk patients. A U.S. Food and Drug Administration advisory panel cleared the way this week for an emergency use approval of the new Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine nationwide. The Commonwealth Healthcare Corporation has been working diligently on Rota, Tinian, and Saipan to receive and store the vaccine, which must be kept at ultra-low temperatures, and to track distribution, because two shots are required in a three-week period for the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine to be fully effective. At a briefing on Thursday, CHCC asked me to take this new medicine to demonstrate to the public trust in its safety. I agreed, as long as everyone in the first-priority group is taken care of. It will be very important that no one in our community hang back from vaccination, if we want to return our lives and economy to normal in 2021.