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US to ship 6M doses of Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccine if approved

Nearly 6 million doses of Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccine have been secured for the US if the drug gets the OK from the Food and Drug Administration in the coming days, health czar Alex Azar said Wednesday.

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Azar also said another 2 million doses of Pfizer’s just-approved vaccine have been allocated for next week.

“As of today, shipments of vaccine will have been delivered to every delivery site identified by public health jurisdictions for our first wave of shipments,” the Health and Human Services secretary said at an Operation Warp Speed press conference.

“I hope that every American has been as heartened as so many of us at HHS and DOD have been to see heroic healthcare workers and vulnerable Americans getting vaccinated this week.

The government has ordered a total of 200 million Moderna doses to date, the company said last week, with about 20 million expected to be delivered by the end of December. The remainder would come in the first quarter of 2021.

Azar also cheered rising confidence among Americans that the COVID-19 vaccine is safe, citing a new poll from Kaiser Family Foundation that 71 percent will get vaccinated.

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“Vaccine confidence is surging,” he said.

The FDA found that Moderna’s coronavirus vaccine was safe and about 94 percent effective ahead of a key vote Thursday by the agency’s advisory panel on whether to issue emergency-use authorization.

Earlier on Wednesday, Azar said officials were closely watching to see if the nor’easter expected along the East Coast has an impact on shipments of Pfizer’s vaccine.

“We’re following all of that,” he told Fox News in an interview. “We have prepositioned CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) people at each place receiving people. This is FedEx, this is UPS express shipping — they know how to deal with snow and bad weather, but we are on it and following it.”

On Tuesday, the national death toll from the coronavirus surpassed 3,000 for the third time in a week.

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