WACO, TX – After getting 2,700 doses of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine last week, the Waco-McLennan County Public Health District says there are enough differences between the two vaccines that show Moderna will be the more accessible one.
Kelly Craine of the Public Health District says the two vaccines have plenty in common, but the biggest difference is how they can be kept.
“The difference comes in how they are stored,” Craine said. “Pfizer vaccine is a little more delicate. They require ultra cold storage, so that limits the places that can offer that vaccine. So you’re not gonna see a lot of Pfizer.”
The Moderna vaccine will be available at more places than Pfizer, because it can be held anywhere under 32 degrees. The Pfizer vaccine needs a more extreme cold for storage, found in hospitals.
Both vaccines are a series of two shots. Pfizer’s are three weeks apart while Moderna’s are four weeks apart. While they both have a similar efficacy rate, local health officials are warning people to take one or the other, not both.
The FDA’s approval of the Moderna vaccine does not change the order of who can get vaccinated first, but more options may be on the way.
“There are at least three vaccine companies that are in their phase three trials that are going to be presenting to the FDA in January,” Craine said. “That’ll mean even more vaccines available to us.”
When it’s time to get the shots, it should not break the bank.
“As we understand it, there’s not gonna be any charge out of pocket,” Craine said. “Of course, that can change as we move forward, but right now, for us, we are offering the vaccine free of charge to our home health care providers.”
The shipments of a second vaccine has the people at the Public Health District feeling optimistic about the fight against COVID-19.
“It’s so wonderful to have the vaccine because we can be proactive instead of reactive,” Craine said. “Imagine being able to do something really to stop the vaccine that doesn’t interfere with your daily life like staying home and wearing a mask.”
Craine says the addition of a vaccine does not affect the timeline of who should get the vaccine and when.