The first shipments of thousands of doses of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine arrived Monday. This is the second COVID-19 vaccination cleared by the FDA for emergency use.
More than 60,000 doses of the new vaccine are being shipped in the next three days. State leaders said this is another step forward to vaccinate as many frontline healthcare workers as possible.
According to the Oklahoma State Department of Health, six sites received their first shipments Monday. Twenty-one others are set to receive theirs Tuesday and Wednesday.
“We have to the vaccine into the arms of the people who are at greatest risk,” said Dr. Dale Bratzler, OU chief quality officer.
The OSDH reports more than 2,200 people have been vaccinated as of Friday, Dec. 18.
Officials said the Moderna vaccine has similarities to Pfizer, with the main difference being it does not require ultra cold storage.
Bratzler said that will logistically make it easier to distribute.
“That’s going to be very useful,” said Bratzler. “When you think about getting the vaccine into rural Oklahoma, which is currently having severe outbreaks.”
In a statement, Governor Kevin Stitt said, in part:
“...The Moderna vaccine’s storage requirements will allow the Oklahoma State Department of Health, county health departments and other partners the ability to send strike teams across the state to quickly administer these vaccines to Oklahomans...”
Though the vaccines are a positive step forward, getting them to the public will still take time as the virus continues to impact many.
“There is still a substantial community spread of the virus,” said Bratzler. “We’re seeing, right now, more than 3,300 new cases every single day in Oklahoma.”