Charlotte hospital system just received second COVID vaccine. Here’s what that means
Atrium Health received its first shipment of the country's newest COVID-19 vaccine on Monday, making vaccination easier for frontline health care providers.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration issued emergency approval for the Moderna Coronavirus vaccine on Friday.
Atrium received 1,000 vials of this vaccine on Monday - enough for about 10,000 doses.
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The Pfizer vaccine that Atrium received last week needs to be stored ultra-cold in specially ordered freezers. In comparison, the Moderna vaccine can be stored in a standard freezer between minus 25 and minus 15 degrees Celsius. This makes storage and transport much easier.
Because the Moderna vaccine is easier to transport, Atrium is prioritizing rural facilities for first access to the vaccine, including Atrium Health Stanly, Atrium Health Kings Mountain, and Atrium Health Anson.
Novant Health and Atrium Health received their first shipment of the COVID-19 vaccine from Pfizer last week. On Monday, Atrium received its first shipment of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine.
Approval of a second emergency vaccine means the general public can see widespread vaccination from spring next year, Atrium said in a statement Monday. Charlotte's largest hospital system is expected to begin vaccinating the public by the spring of next year.
In the past week, Atrium vaccinated more than 1,500 employees, according to the hospital system.
Also last week, Atrium vaccinated the first person in the state, Dr. Katie Passaretti, who described the vaccine as "a moment of hope".
Both the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines are given in two injections. Pfizer injections are three weeks apart and the doses of Moderna are four weeks apart.
No serious safety concerns were identified during the development of the two vaccines, although doctors say patients should expect pain at the injection site.
Charlotte's other major hospital system, Novant Health, has announced it will receive the Moderna vaccine. Novant did not immediately respond to a request to review the Moderna vaccine.
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