SPRINGFIELD, Ore.-- With the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine rolling out across the country after FDA approval, more Americans will now have even easier access to getting vaccinated.
Dr. Bob Pelz, Medical Director of Infection Prevention for PeaceHealth, said the main difference between the two vaccines is Moderna's doesn't have to be stored in extremely cold temperatures compared to Pfizer's. This will allow smaller hospitals in small communities in Western Oregon to start vaccinating people. For example, Pelz said PeaceHealth's Florence clinic will be able to store Moderna's vaccine. They do not have the freezer capability to store the Pfizer vaccine.
He also said with a second vaccine on the market, there are more doses available for the public.
"Pfizer and Moderna both work the same way. They're both about 95% effective, and they both appear to be very safe," Pelz said.
Both vaccines work by sending a message to the immune system with detailed instructions on how to recognize and kill the virus. He said the public is not being injected with the actual COVID-19 virus.
Pelz said there are no serious side effects from Moderna's vaccine except maybe a sore arm after the shot. He said so far there aren't any reports of people having an allergic reaction to the vaccine, like with Pfizer's.
"This is the light at the end of the tunnel for everyone," Pelz said. "The people that are on the frontlines of taking on COVID patients and watching people get sick and die in the Intensive Care Unit -- it's brutal and it finally gives us some hope."