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Second COVID-19 vaccine could arrive in the Quad Cities next week

A man stands outside an entrance to a Moderna, Inc., building, Monday, May 18, 2020, in...
A man stands outside an entrance to a Moderna, Inc., building, Monday, May 18, 2020, in Cambridge, Mass.
Published: Dec. 16, 2020 at 1:20 AM CST
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DAVENPORT, Iowa (KWQC) - As frontline healthcare workers in the Quad Cities received the first doses of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine on Tuesday, a second version of the vaccine looms.

The Moderna COVID-19 vaccine is expected to be approved for emergency-use authorization by the Food and Drug Administration by the end of the week and could arrive in the Quad Cities area as early as next week.

“We’re on the verge of the biggest public health response in modern history,” Scott County Health Dept. Director Ed Rivers said during the QC COVID-19 Coalition press briefing Tuesday.

According to the FDA, both Pfizer and Moderna’s versions have been found to be highly effective against the virus, but have slight differences.

“We do know the Pfizer vaccine; the second dose is due after 21 days. And Moderna; the second dose is due after 28 days,” Nita Ludwig, Public Health Administrator for the Rock Island County Health Dept., said.

Unlike the Moderna vaccine, Pfizer’s version must be stored at negative 94 degrees, adding a unique challenge for distribution. But when given the opportunity to be vaccinated, either option should be taken because they are both around 95 percent effective.

“Guidance has been to take whatever vaccine is available to you first,” Ludwig said.

When it’s time for the second dose of the vaccine, the same version will be administered. Health officials also said the second dose of the vaccine could trigger some side effects similar to the flu shot, but it’s important to note it’s not COVID-19 effects.

Employers should keep in mind not to get all their employees vaccinated on the same day or they might be short staffed,” Ludwig said.

The vaccines will continue to arrive in the Quad Cities over the next several weeks. It’s a positive sign after ten months of the pandemic, but it’s not time to slow down. Social distancing and face coverings are just as important until everyone has the opportunity to get vaccinated.

According to the CDC, it’s still unclear if the vaccines will need to be taken yearly, but it is possible it will end up becoming a seasonal vaccine like the flu shot.

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