WASHINGTON, D.C. – The United States now has not one, but two vaccines in the fight against COVID-19.
It comes at a time when the coronavirus numbers are the highest in the country than they have been in months.
United States Secretary of Health and Human Services Alex Azar said about the Moderna vaccine: “This is an exceptionally safe and shockingly effective vaccine.”
Moderna’s vaccine was approved Friday by the Food and Drug Administration after an independent panel found it safe and effective for anyone 18 or older.
Unlike the Pfizer vaccine, Moderna’s doesn’t need to be stored in super-cold freezers making it easier to distribute to remote areas.
This week, tens of thousands of seniors in long-term care and healthcare workers got the Pfizer shot.
On Friday, Vice President Mike Pence rolled up his sleeve to get the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine. His wife also received a shot.
“Today, Karen and I wanted to step forward and take this vaccine to ensure the American people that while we cut red tape, we cut no corners.”
It is a light at the end of a long tunnel, nine months into the pandemic.
“As we get into January, February, March and April, that light is going to get brighter and brighter, the bitterness will be replaced by the sweetness,” said Dr. Anthony Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, who will turn 80 on Christmas Eve.
But, right now, COVID-19 numbers in the United States are still rising. It’s especially acute in Los Angeles where hospitals are overwhelmed.
We’re in a very serious phase of this pandemic,” Dr. Christina Ghaly, of the Los Angeles County department of health services said. “Our hospitals are full. There are just a handful of beds that are available at any given hospital at any given time.