MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - Friday evening, The FDA granted an emergency use authorization for Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccine. The vaccine should be shipped out quickly.
Mississippi health officials say that could happen as early as Sunday. Tennessee health officials expect to have 5,000 doses of the Moderna vaccine by Monday.
Meanwhile, Mid-South hospitals plan to continue vaccinating healthcare workers throughout the weekend.
Thursday, Tennessee rolled out its statewide vaccination of front line healthcare workers.
We’ve now learned Regional One has vaccinated about 400 of their workers with the Pfizer vaccine. Methodist LeBonheur hospital system reports vaccinating 1600 people. Baptist Memorial Memphis, Desoto, and Crittenden have vaccinated more than 850 of their workers.
Now that the Moderna vaccine has been approved, Tennessee health leaders can focus on groups not initially included in the first round.
Shelby County Health Department will receive the Moderna vaccine along with long-term care facilities and the rest of Tennessee’s hospitals, which are mainly in rural areas.
Meanwhile, there are still clinical trials underway for other COVID-19 vaccines.
Johnson and Johnson is in phase 3 of its clinical trial. Unlike Phizer and Moderna, Johnson and Johnson is a single-dose vaccine. St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital is a testing site.
“I think it’s important to remember when you look across our community, across the state, across the country, we need as many people as possible to take the vaccine, and to achieve that, we need multiple vaccines to become available,” St. Jude Patient Safety Officer Dr. James Huffman said.
The Johnson and Johnson clinical trial in Memphis closed yesterday. They are no longer accepting applicants.
Johnson and Johnson officials say they hope to apply for emergency use for their vaccine by February.