FRESNO, Calif. (KGPE) — The Moderna vaccine cleared its final hurdle Friday by gaining the FDA’s emergency use authorization, becoming another potentially life-saving weapon against the COVID-19 virus.
“We’re expecting every week to receive both Moderna and Pfizer shipments,” Joe Prado with the Fresno County Department of Health said.
14,800 initial Moderna doses are slated to arrive in Fresno County next week along with 3,900 more Pfizer.
The two vaccines both require two doses, but Pfizer needs a much colder storage temperature of -70 degrees and only lasts five days outside this environment.
Prado said facilities with ultra low storage freezers are limited. So Moderna, which has more flexible care requirements, will be a big help.
“That is different, that is in a -25 degrees Celsius freezer, but that can be refrigerated up to 30 days. That really changes everybody’s operations now. They have a bigger window now,” he said.
The news came as hospital capacity remains pushed to the brink, which prompted a soft opening of the county’s 50 bed alternate care site at Community Regional Medical Center.
“The hospitals are really in crisis mode right now,” Dan Lynch Fresno County’s emergency medical services director said.
Prado said surveys of the community show about 50% of people say they will get a vaccine, 25% to 30% percent say they will not and the rest are undecided.
“To me they’re safe they’re effective and they really are the best shot that we have at reopening, and we have to look at it that way, that this is how we’re going to get back to normal,” Dr. Rais Vohra Fresno County’s interim health officer said.