SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccine was authorized for emergency use by the food and drug administration on Friday and the CDC approved it over the weekend, becoming the second vaccine in the country’s arsenal to fight the pandemic.
The U.S. is the first country to greenlight the use of Moderna’s vaccine, a company based in Cambridge, Massachusetts like Pfizer’s vaccine, Moderna also requires a second dose about a month apart for those 18-years of age and older but unlike Pfizer’s vaccine, these vials don’t require storage in a deep freeze.
Baystate Health expects to get the Moderna vaccine by Tuesday, the hospital has used all of its 23-hundred doses of the Pfizer vaccine which was received last week.
Mercy Medical Center is also waiting for the Moderna vaccine after receiving 975 doses of the Pfizer vaccine last Wednesday.
“We are taking this one step at a time, we are inviting our colleagues to schedule vaccines as soon as we know the adequate supply and we are encouraged that this is all happening now and hope to move as quickly through this a possible,” said an official from Mercy Medical Center.
While COVID-19 cases continue to rise, flu cases are down by a lot, Baystate Health President and CEO said the hospital hasn’t seen one flu case so far this season and that’s also the case at Mercy Medical Center.
“We’ve been doing everything we have been telling people to do for years and years plus the extra stuff like wearing masks and social distancing. That tends to drive flu numbers down,” said Baystate Health President and CEO.
Under the state’s phased vaccination plan, healthcare and non-clinical workers involved in COVID-19 care and response work make up the first priority group to get the shots. Long-term care centers would come next.
Governor Charlie Baker said CVS and Walgreens will begin vaccinating in those facilities next week.
The general public is still expected to get the vaccine starting in April.