Moderna Inc. and its partners have started distributing its COVID-19 vaccine in the United States, the second approved for emergency use in the country.
Shipments began leaving warehouse early Sunday for healthcare facilities around the country, a desperately needed boost to efforts to bring the coronavirus pandemic under control.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration on Friday approved Moderna for emergency use. It also approved a vaccine produced by Pfizer-Biotech for emergency use earlier this month.
The much-needed shots are expected to be given starting Monday.
U.S. Army general in charge of distributing COVID-19 vaccine across the U.S said between the Pfizer vaccine and the Moderna Inc. vaccine, the government is expecting to deliver 20 million doses to the states by the first week of January.
Nationwide, more than 219,000 people per day on average test positive for the virus; which has killed more than 314,000 in the U.S. and nearly 1.7 million worldwide.
The Pfizer and Moderna shots shipped so far and going out over the next few weeks are nearly all going to health care workers; and residents of long-term care homes, based on the advice of the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices.