The first boxes containing the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine are being prepared for shipment to the McKesson distribution center in Olive Branch, Mississippi, Sunday, December 20. Moderna, Inc. and its partners have started distributing their COVID-19 vaccine in the United States, the second vaccine approved for emergency use in the country. Shipments began leaving warehouses early Sunday for health facilities across the country, which leads the world with 17.6 million cases and more than 316,000 deaths. Moncef Slaoui, head of Operation Warp Speed, the Trump administration’s vaccine development program, told CNN that Moderna’s first vaccines would likely be given on Monday morning. The United States Food and Drug Administration approved Moderna for emergency use on Friday. The FDA approved a vaccine produced by Pfizer-Biotech for emergency use earlier this month. Between the Pfizer vaccine and the Moderna vaccine, Gen. Gustave Perna, the U.S. Army general responsible for distributing the COVID-19 vaccine across the United States, said the government plans to provide 20 million doses to States by the first week of January.
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