Carilion Clinic vaccination rollout now includes Moderna vaccine

Carilion began administering the Moderna vaccination Christmas week
Published: Dec. 23, 2020 at 5:58 PM EST
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ROANOKE, Va. (WDBJ) - Carilion Clinic is now administering both the Pfizer and Moderna vaccinations for COVID-19. So far, Carilion officials report they’ve given out 75% of the Pfizer vaccinations they’ve received, and just this week began administering Moderna shots.

Doctors at Carilion said both vaccines work in similar ways, with similar side effects.

“Perhaps the main difference is the time period between the first and second dose,” said Paul Skolnik, M.D., chair of medicine for Carilion Clinic. “It’s 21 days for Pfizer and 28 days for the Moderna vaccine.”

Dr. Skolnik said both vaccines are effective.

“The Moderna vaccine is 94% effective. Pfizer is 95% effective,” said Dr. Skolnik. “These are both incredibly useful and powerful vaccines.”

Dr. Skolnik said the vaccine rollout has been successful. The Moderna vaccine will allow more flexibility of where vaccinations can take place.

“With the Moderna vaccine it gives us some flexibility to be able to use the vaccine in a more ambulatory, or outpatient setting, primarily because the Moderna vaccine doesn’t require the deep freeze storage, and it also doesn’t have to be mixed prior to giving or getting the vaccines,” said Chad Alvarez, PharmD., senior director of pharmacy and leader of Carilion Clinic’s COVID-19 Task Force. “That will allow us to give it to health care workers in an outpatient setting.”

Carilion began administering the Moderna vaccine Tuesday, December 22, and will continue doing so into next week as well. Carilion officials said they expect more shipments of both vaccines to arrive soon.

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