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Michigan to receive nearly 174,000 doses of Moderna vaccine next week

Posted at 9:06 PM, Dec 19, 2020
and last updated 2020-12-19 22:23:15-05

MICHIGAN  — MICHIGAN - As hospitals across the United States prepare to receive the Moderna vaccine, a portion of Michigan’s share is expected to ship out soon.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Michigan will get 173,600 doses next week and the same amount in the 28 days after.

The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services is responsible for distributing the vaccine across the state. MDHHS did not respond to FOX17’s inquiries about which hospitals and health systems will receive the Moderna vaccine.

Dr. Andrew Jameson, division chief of infectious diseases at Mercy Health Saint Mary’s, says they do not know if it will receive any Moderna doses. He says Mercy only receive 24-48 hour notice if a shipment is coming. Mercy received nearly 1,000 doses of the Pfizer vaccine Thursday.

However, Jameson describes the Moderna emergency use authorization as a boost to efforts in fighting the coronavirus.

“I think the biggest thing this means for our communities, our hospitals, and for me specifically, is that we just have more supply,” said Jameson. “Our goal is to get through our highest risk staff really quickly, get it out into the communities where people have the highest risk in long term care facilities, and then start getting the community vaccinated, so this extra authorization gives us that ability.”

Jameson says it’s possible Moderna’s vaccine goes to more rural health systems and outpatient clinics since they may not have the ultra-cold freezers required to store Pfizer’s vaccine.

“The storage is a little bit less rigorous and there's a little bit more leeway in how long you can keep things refrigerated,” said Jameson.

The Moderna vaccine can be refrigerated between 36° to 46°F for up to 30 days within its six-month shelf life.

However, Jameson says the logistics are all the really differentiates the two vaccines. He explains like Pfizer’s the Moderna vaccine boasts a high efficacy rate at 94.1 percent and there are no major safety problems, only the chance of sore arms, fever, and muscle aches afterwards. Both vaccines are “Messenger-RNA” vaccines that require two doses between three and four weeks apart.

“I have a ton more confidence in the actual technology because of that,” said Jameson. “You have two companies that were doing the exact same thing, the same type of chemicals composition and same kind of technology, and the results are almost interchangeable.”

Jameson hopes the general public embraces his assurance.

“I got vaccinated on Thursday and I feel pretty decent today,” said Jameson. “Definitely had a little bit of a headache yesterday, but I still worked and Ibuprofen took care of it. Today I feel completely normal.”

“There are probably four more vaccines that will be up for emergency use authorization in the next three months and so, we'll have to see how it all shakes out,” said Jameson.

Spectrum Health expects more information about the Moderna vaccine and their system to be released Monday.

Cherry Health and Metro Health did not return requests for comment.