Methodist-Olive Branch Hospital receives first shipment of Moderna vaccine

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Boxes containing the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine are prepared to be shipped at the McKesson distribution center in Olive Branch, Miss., Sunday, Dec. 20, 2020. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya, Pool)

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OLIVE BRANCH, Miss. — Methodist-Olive Branch Hospital announced it has received a shipment of Moderna’s vaccine.

According to hospital leaders, the staff at the hospital will begin receiving the vaccine sometime Wednesday.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved the Moderna vaccine for emergency use in the United States for those 18 years of age and older just last week.

The FDA found no severe allergic reactions in Moderna’s data but flagged a slightly higher rate of less serious side effects — rash, hives, itching — among participants who got the vaccine, compared with those receiving a dummy shot.

The vaccine will be distributed through the federal government’s Operation Warp Speed project.

Moderna announced the vaccine can be transported in a liquid state at 36 to 46 degrees Fahrenheit. Good news for some areas of the U.S. struggling to receive the fragile Pfizer vaccine.

The government has purchased 200 million doses of the vaccine from Moderna. 20 million doses will be delivered by the end of the year, 80 million in the first quarter of 2021 and 100 million in the second quarter of 2021.

Like the Pfizer vaccine, Moderna’s requires two doses.

The FDA also approved the Pfizer Inc. and Germany’s BioNTech vaccine.

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