MIAMI (CBSMiami) – Ending the coronavirus pandemic is a marathon not a sprint, and the arrival of the Moderna vaccine in South Florida is another step towards getting the virus under control.
A little more than 48 hours after emergency use approval, some of the first vials of the Moderna vaccine were offloaded at a Baptist Health warehouse in Doral.
The vaccine is stored in regular freezers unlike the one made by Pfizer.
“The more we have, the faster healthcare workers can get vaccinated,” said Baptist Chief Pharmacist Madeline Canejo. “And then we will do other workers.”
Moderna’s vaccine is now the second lifeline for healthcare workers in South Florida.
Thousands have already been given the Pfizer vaccine, which arrived last week. It’s still being given to Broward healthcare workers while Broward Health gets ready to get its first shipment of the Moderna vaccine.
“As healthcare workers are inoculated, the effects on our infrastructure are significant and it shows the public it is safe for them as well,” said Dr. Joshua Lenchus, Broward’s chief medical officer.
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Nicklaus Children’s Hospital in Miami began inoculating its medical staff for the first time with the Pfizer vaccine on Monday.
“This step will protect our community in general,” said Nicklaus Children’s Hospital President Matthew Love.
South Florida’s long-term care residents and staff are in the second week of vaccinations. Gov. Ron DeSantis said he continues to send in strike teams to bolster CVS and Walgreens vaccine distributions to assisted living facilities.
The CDC said the next round of shots will focus on people 75 plus and essential workers, such as teachers, first responders and grocery store Workers.