Two Ocala sites to receive Moderna vaccine

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Posted December 17, 2020 | By Brendan Farrell, Ocala Gazette

AdventHealth Ocala and Ocala Regional Medical Center will be the first two sites in Marion County to receive the Moderna vaccine, according to Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis.  

The state will be receiving 367,000 doses of the Moderna vaccine next week, though the vaccine still needs to be given emergency use authorization by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. An FDA advisory panel will vote on the vaccine before it can be authorized by the FDA commissioner.  

The Moderna vaccine will be sent to 173 hospitals across 43 counties. The key difference between the Moderna vaccine and the Pfizer vaccine, which was given emergency use authorization last week, is that the Moderna doesn’t require ultra-cold storage. According to the state’s press release, that is why the vaccine can be sent to so many sites.  

“A multi-disciplinary task force of experts across our organization is gathering a full understanding of the scientific, federal and state guidance to achieve safe, effective and equitable COVID-19 vaccination of team members, medical staff and consumers,” said AdventHealth in a release. “AdventHealth will follow state and federal guidelines for distribution and has a team dedicated to planning the logistics of receiving, storing, transporting and administering the vaccine across our health system starting with our frontline team members whose roles involve high exposure risk.” 

Marion County has had over 15,000 total cases since the start of the pandemic and reported 495 cases over the last three days. The county has also had 430 deaths due to COVID-19.  

“Our care teams have truly gone above and beyond, time and time again, and answered the call to care for others,” said Ocala Health CEO Chad Christianson in a release. “Together, we have fought the pandemic, and now it is time to take the next step: administer vaccines that can ultimately stop the virus.” 

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