Experts say the death toll is a serious reminder to follow restrictions despite optimistic inoculation outlook.
There is a surge in infections as the US enters its coldest months.
The healthcare workers on Monday received the freshly-authorized Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 shot. About three million doses are being shipped across the US, and are expected to arrive at more than 600 sites by Wednesday.
The first shots on Monday was the beginning of the largest vaccination campaign in American history. If a second vaccine, produced by Moderna Inc, is authorized in the coming days, officials say 20 million people could be vaccinated by month’s end.
The head of the White House’s vaccine program said that everyone in the country who wants the vaccine should be able to get it by halfway through 2021 if development, approval, and distribution goes according to the plan.
Health experts have warned that the initial doses of the vaccine will not be enough to cut the current surge, which has threatened to overrun healthcare systems in several areas.