Moderna COVID-19 vaccine begins rollout as U.S. races to broaden injection campaign
DETROIT/LOS ANGELES/NEW YORK (Reuters) -U.S. distribution of Moderna Inc’s COVID-19 vaccine began on Saturday, with more than 3,700 sites due to start receiving and administering shots as soon as Monday, vastly widening the rollout started last week by Pfizer Inc.
Amid record coronavirus infections and deaths, Moderna has already moved vaccine supplies from its manufacturing plants to warehouses operated by distributor McKesson Corp.
Workers on Saturday were packing vaccines into containers and loading them on trucks, U.S. Army General Gustave Perna said during a news conference. Trucks will set out on Sunday and shipments will start reaching healthcare providers as soon as Monday, he said.
Doses of vaccine must travel with security guards, including U.S. Marshals, and will be stored in locked refrigerators. U.S. plans call for at-risk groups such as elderly people in nursing homes and medical workers to receive injections first.
The Food and Drug Administration on Friday approved an emergency use authorization for Moderna’s vaccine, the second COVID-19 vaccine to receive approval.
Moderna said a panel of outside advisers to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention voted Saturday to recommend its vaccine for use in people aged 18 and older. The Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices panel voted 11-0 in favor of the vaccine.