COVID vaccines have started arriving, but it could still be spring or summer until widely available

Morning After

DALLAS, Texas (KDAF) — The first vaccines for the coronavirus have started arriving in hospitals across the country, with the first in North Texas arriving at Methodist Dallas Medical Center around 8 a.m. on Monday morning.

However, due to the extremely cold temperatures required to ship and store the Pfizer vaccine, smaller clinics will likely need to wait. The Pfizer vaccine requires storage and shipping temperatures of -94 degrees Fahrenheit and only lasts 5-days in storage, which is difficult for local and smaller clinics to manage.

“So right now, most of the major hospital systems are receiving this vaccine,” says Dr. James Pickney of Diamond Physicians, “once we get, I think the Moderna which can be stored at -4 degrees Fahrenheit, that makes more sense for clinics to be able to receive the vaccine, store it appropriately so it doesn’t what we call ‘denature’ and become ineffective and get that out to the general population.”

The initial shipments of vaccines are targeted for hospitals, front line workers, nursing home facilities and other pre-determined locations. Pickney says the general population will likely start receiving the vaccine in large numbers closer to spring and summer of 2021.

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