What to Know
- Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis said about 61,000 doses of the Moderna vaccine would be arriving in Florida on Monday
- The Moderna vaccine is the second COVID-19 vaccine that has been authorized in the U.S.
- DeSantis said another 300,000 doses of the Moderna vaccine could arrive on Tuesday
Initial shipments of the second COVID-19 vaccine authorized in the U.S. reached South Florida on Monday.
Boxes of the Moderna vaccine were being unloaded at local hospitals, after the Food and Drug Administration authorized an emergency rollout of the vaccine just days after the Pfizer vaccine had been approved.
At Baptist Health South Florida, the new vaccine doses were placed into freezers as workers took inventory. The Moderna vaccine needs to be stored at regular freezer temperatures, not the ultra-cold required for Pfizer-BioNTech’s shot.
"It's a blessing, it surely is," said Madeline Camejo, Chief Pharmacy Officer at Baptist Health. "It's something we've all been waiting for and it's a great piece of hope that will help get us back to normal soon."
Camejo said she was surprised they received the Moderna vaccine so quickly. She said it could start to be administered to health care workers on Tuesday.
"It's a big day," Camejo said. "It's like they say, it's hope in a bottle."
Last week, the first Pfizer vaccines were given to health care workers in Miami, Broward, Tampa, Jacksonville and Orlando. Residents in some care facilities have also been vaccinated in recent days.
At a news conference in key Biscayne Monday, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis said the state was receiving about 61,000 doses of the Moderna vaccine on Monday and was expecting over 300,000 doses to arrive on Tuesday. He said the vaccines will be distributed to 170 hospitals throughout Florida.
DeSantis said a second shipment of the Pfizer vaccine, about 120,000 doses, could arrive in the state on Monday or Tuesday.
"I think people are appreciating what a great life we had before this pandemic, and getting back to normalcy is a great thing," Camejo said.