OLIVE BRANCH, Miss. -- Initial shipments of the second COVID-19 vaccine authorized in the U.S. have left a factory as the nation works to bring the coronavirus pandemic under control.
The trucks left Sunday from the Moderna McKesson plant in Olive Branch, Mississippi.
Employees began boxing up the shots at the factory in the Memphis area early Sunday morning.
It comes just days after the Food and Drug Administration authorized an emergency rollout of the vaccine.
An expert committee later Sunday will debate who should be next in line for early doses of the vaccine.
Early shots are mostly being given to health care workers and residents of long-term care homes.
Most patients with COVID-19 have mild to moderate symptoms. However, in a small proportion of patients, COVID-19 can lead to more severe illness, including death, particularly among those who are older or those who have chronic medical conditions.
COVID-19 spreads primarily through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes.
Symptoms include fever, cough, and difficulty breathing. Symptoms appear within 14 days of being exposed to an infectious person.
Virginia health officials urged the following precautions:
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
- Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer only if soap and water are not available.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve (not your hands) when coughing or sneezing.
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.
- Stay home when you are sick.
- Avoid contact with sick people.
- Avoid non-essential travel.