Tampa Bay area hospitals ready for the first wave of Moderna vaccine

Hospital Sarasota
Posted at 3:55 PM, Dec 18, 2020
and last updated 2020-12-18 17:21:07-05

SARASOTA, Fla. — Tampa Bay area hospitals are anxiously awaiting new shipments of COVID-19 vaccines. The FDA is expected to give emergency approval to the Moderna vaccine very soon.

The arrival of vaccines to fight off the Coronavirus is both historic and emotional.

“When I heard the news about the vaccine, I cried. I also cried when that first nurse was vaccinated," said Dr. Manny Gordillio, an expert on infectious diseases at Sarasota Memorial Hospital.

Now, those at Sarasota Memorial will be among the first in the nation to receive the Moderna vaccine.

This comes as more than 3000 people a day nationwide are dying from the Coronavirus and many hospitals are overwhelmed.

Hospital workers will be the first to get the Moderna vaccine that is showing about 94% effectiveness against COVID-19 in trials of 30,000 people.

“We need to protect our healthcare workers. If they get sick, right now they are already tired and looking for some breaks. But then you add that to someone that’s sick, and if you have a whole area that becomes sick you have a problem," said Dr. James Fiorica, Chief Medical Officer at Sarasota Memorial Hospital.

Doctors say these vaccines are as safe as any ever produced before and there are no significant side effects.

They say there are slight differences in how the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines were created, but they are both equally effective.

“For people getting the vaccine, I think you should get whatever is available to you at the time. They are both about the same in terms of advocacy and safety," said Gordillo.

Doctors say they are concerned about holiday travel and Christmas gatherings causing another spike and encourage everyone to continue following all safety measures.