Pending FDA approval, Tennessee could get Moderna vaccine next week; what you need to know

Posted at 6:25 AM, Dec 18, 2020
and last updated 2020-12-18 07:30:52-05

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — Tennessee could get its first batch of Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccine as early as next week.

While the FDA panel endorsed the vaccine on Thursday – just like with Pfizer – it still needs to be authorized for emergency use, and top officials are trying to get this done quickly.

Tennessee is expected to get shipments as early as Monday. Officials from the state's health department are expecting a total of 115,000 doses over the next couple of weeks – after emergency authorization use is given the green light, of course.

The initial supplies are limited, but all 95 county health departments should receive shipments and smaller hospitals that aren't getting the Pfizer vaccine will have to wait until the week after Christmas.

Tennessee Health Commissioner Dr. Lisa Piercey said this vaccine is equally as safe – and has less stringent storage requirements than the Pfizer vaccine.

This all depends on when the FDA is expected to authorize emergency use of the vaccine, which is expected to happen today.

Like the Pfizer vaccine, the Moderna vaccine also requires two doses. It’s important to note that if you get the Pfizer vaccine first, you can't switch over to the Moderna. Soon, people who get the vaccine will get a card telling them which vaccine they received and when they need their second shot.

Related story: Tennessee hospitals begin Pfizer vaccine rollout for front-line health care workers