Dec 20, 2020 - Health

First doses of Moderna's COVID-19 vaccine have shipped in the U.S.

Two masked employees stand on opposite sides of an empty assembly line

Boxes containing the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine at the McKesson distribution center in Olive Branch, Mississippi, on Dec. 20. Photo: Paul Sancya/Pool/AFP via Getty Images

The first shipments of Moderna's coronavirus vaccine were sent from a distribution center in Olive Branch, Mississippi, on Sunday morning, AP reports.

Why it matters: The planned delivery of millions of doses of the Moderna vaccine, which has a 94.1% efficacy rate, comes amid a dangerously high coronavirus caseload across the country that could be exacerbated by holiday travel.

Driving the news: The Moderna vaccine will be distributed to thousands of cities, Army Gen. Gustave Perna, chief operating officer of Operation Warp Speed, said at a news conference on Saturday.

  • Roughly 2.9 million doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine, which is about 95% effective, were shipped last week.
An assembly line filled with boxes
The McKesson distribution center in Olive Branch, Mississippi, on Dec. 20. Photo: Paul Sancya/Pool/AFP via Getty Images
A worker hauls boxes of the Moderna coronavirus vaccine in a warehouse
The McKesson distribution center in Olive Branch, Mississippi, on Dec. 20. Photo: Paul Sancya/Pool/AFP via Getty Images
Workers handle boxes of Moderna vaccines
The McKesson distribution center in Olive Branch, Mississippi, on Dec. 20. Photo: Paul Sancya/Pool/AFP via Getty Images
A line of FedEx semitrucks
The McKesson distribution center in Olive Branch, Mississippi, on Dec. 20. Photo: Paul Sancya/Pool/AFP via Getty Images
A person carries a box by hand while walking through a warehouse near an assembly line
The McKesson distribution center in Olive Branch, Mississippi, on Dec. 20. Photo: Paul Sancya/Pool/AFP via Getty Images
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