Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccine on way to Washington

SEATTLE — Thousands of doses of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine are on the way to Western Washington.

U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Dr. Robert Redfield gave the final stamp of approval Sunday after the Food and Drug Administration issued the vaccine for emergency use on Friday.

Healthcare workers and the elderly at long-term care facilities could get shots of the newly-approved vaccine Monday.

>>More local coronavirus news

The Western States Scientific Safety Review Workgroup also approved the vaccine Sunday.

Gov. Jay Inslee issued a statement saying, in part, “Having two vaccines to combat COVID-19 will help us begin to recover from this destructive pandemic.”

FedEx and UPS trucks and planes are distributing 6 million doses nationwide that will be spread among 3,700 locations in all 50 states.

Operation Warp Speed officials say the latest rollout will be similar to Pfizer’s last week.

The chief scientific advisor of Operation Warpspeed says Moderna’s vaccine will be easier to distribute because it doesn’t require the same ultra cold temperature as Pfizer’s vaccine does.

Washington is expected to have secured 180,000 doses of the second vaccine by the end of the year.

Kaiser Permanente on Seattle’s Capitol Hill is where the first shot ever of Moderna’s vaccine was administered during clinical trials.

A few days ago, KIRO 7 caught up with local trial participant Richelle Dickkerson.

She doesn’t know if she received the vaccine or the placebo, but says she’s thrilled by how far science has come since she first got her shot.

“It’s really exciting. It’s a testament to what can happen when people decide it’s going to. The idea that I might be able to hug people again is a big deal,” said Dickkerson.