Massachusetts-based Moderna shipping vaccines across the country

CAMBRIDGE, M.A. (WLNE) — Millions of doses of Moderna’s Covid-19 vaccine are now on the roads headed to medical facilities across the country.

The FDA gave approval to Moderna’s vaccine on Friday. On Monday, the Cambridge-based company began sending out 5.9 million doses from its Mississippi production facility.

120,000 of the first doses will be sent to hospitals and other medical centers across Massachusetts.

“There’s really hope on the horizon here,” said Dr. Dani Hackner, Chief Physician with Southcoast Healthcare.

Moderna’s vaccine is slightly different than Pfizer’s, which started being distributed last week.

One of the benefits is Moderna’s vaccine can be kept at warmer temperatures, which helps with shipping, storage, and distribution efforts.

“Moderna’s [vaccine] can be stored at more of a standard freezer temp of -10,” said Dr. Hackner. “It makes for much easier distribution.”

Moderna also packages their vaccine in smaller quantities, which is beneficial for shipping to smaller, rural hospitals and medical centers.

Like the Pfizer vaccine, Moderna’s requires two shots administered roughly one month apart to be effective. Right now, those shots are going to medical workers across the region.

“We [need] to stabilize the workforce and prevent potentially dangerous shortages of [medical] staff,” Dr. Hackner said of the first vaccine recipients.

However, medical experts agree it will take some time before the spread of Covid-19 stops.

“If we can get to 70% vaccination in the community in the coming 6 months, that could make a huge difference with masks and avoiding congregate settings,” Dr. Hackner explained.

Even with two vaccines being distributed, experts do not expect a either will be ready for widespread use by the general public until at least April.

(c) WLNE-TV // ABC 6   2020

Categories: Coronavirus, Massachusetts, News, Regional News, US & World News