ADPH: Moderna COVID-19 vaccine expected in Alabama today

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MONTGOMERY, Ala. – The Alabama Department of Public Health (ADPH) said Monday it expected doses of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine will arrive at some Alabama facilities later Monday and more are expected over the next couple of days now that Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) for the vaccine has been received from the Food and Drug Administration. Alabama’s initial allocation is 84,300 doses, and shipment is in progress.

The first allocation will be shipped to a number of preidentified locations with capacity to store the Moderna product. Moderna requires storage at -20 degrees Celsius, which allows more hospitals to manage this product.

As was done with the Pfizer vaccine, Moderna COVID-19 vaccine was allocated using a federal microplanning tool. The current allocation for administration is 50 percent for hospital healthcare workers, 15 percent for EMS providers, 15 percent for physician offices, and 20 percent for other hospital staff/healthcare workers not associated with the point of distribution. Residents of long-term care will be vaccinated through the Federal Pharmacy Program in cooperation with large chain pharmacies.

Moderna COVID-19 vaccine requires two doses separated by 28 days, and a recall system for second doses has been established. Additional vaccine doses of Moderna COVID-19 vaccine are expected at weekly intervals, and the second doses of the vaccine will be included in follow-up allocations.

ADPH follows the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) guidance regarding administration to persons in Phase 1a, currently identified as healthcare providers and residents of long-term care. Vaccine administration to persons in Phase 1a is expected to be administered within a day or days of receipt of shipment.

Information regarding the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine’s side effect profile indicated that some recipients had pain at the site of injection, headaches, fever, muscle aches and chills. These were seen more with the second dose than the first dose and were reported to resolve over one to two days. Mechanisms are in place to monitor for vaccine side effects.

ADPH continues to urge the public to practice caution by postponing travel and avoiding gatherings during the holidays. Other simple measures everyone should continue taking to reduce transmission of COVID-19 are as follows:

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for 20 seconds
  • Social distance by staying 6 feet away from others
  • Avoid people who are sick
  • Stay home if you can; work remotely if possible
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a face covering when around others
  • Cover coughs and sneezes
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces
  • Monitor your health

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