Freeman Health System is busy giving the new COVID-19 shots to its employees. They’re using the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine, which has a 94.5% efficacy rate.
A Food and Drug Administration committee found no specific safety concerns in subgroup analyses by age, race, ethnicity, medical co-morbities or prior SARS-CoV-2 infection.
Freeman expects to receive multiple shipments over several weeks. The vaccination is not mandatory for employees. The vaccination is a two-step process. The second dose is given about a month after the first.
The Moderna mRNA-1273 vaccine utilizes messenger RNA. This new technology teaches our cells how to make a protein—or even just a piece of a protein—that triggers an immune response inside our bodies. That immune response, which produces antibodies, is what protects us from getting infected if the real virus enters our bodies.
Moderna’s is a user-friendly vaccine with a six-month shelf life in a regular freezer, at minus 20 degrees Celsius, and up to 30 days in a refrigerator. Moderna requires two doses given a minimum of 28 days apart. The vaccine is generally well-tolerated but recipients can experience injection site pain, and after the second dose, they may experience fatigue, muscle aches, joint pain, headache, and/or pain and redness at the injection site.
Moderna previously collaborated with the National Institutes of Health on a vaccine for MERS-CoV, which is a different type of coronavirus (there are many) than the current pandemic. While the program was only at the research stage, it provided significant insights as Moderna launched efforts for mRNA-1273. Before the Phase 1 study for mRNA-1273, Moderna had not previously tested a coronavirus vaccine in humans.t.
Multiple injection locations will be set up for the convenience of employees. Those who have already contracted COVID-19 are still eligible to receive the vaccine. Employees will make appointments to get the vaccine allowing 30 minutes for each shot, as there is a 15-minute post-vaccination observation period.