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Residents, Frontline Workers At Brockton VA Receive COVID-19 Vaccine

BROCKTON (CBS) - More relief has arrived as the first doses of Moderna's coronavirus vaccine were delivered to Massachusetts. Frontline workers and residents at the Brockton VA were some of the first to receive it Monday morning.

Vietnam War veteran Patricia Thomas was first in line. "It's a little scary but I am glad to get it over with," Thomas said.

Distribution of the Cambridge-based company COVID vaccine began on Monday afternoon just three days after the FDA gave it the green light for emergency use. "I think this is the first step of seeing the light at the end of tunnel. Hopefully we get to the point where no one has to die of COVID," frontline worker, Tom Cunningham said.

Dr. Daniel Kuritzkes is Chief of the Division of Infectious Diseases at Brigham and Women's Hospital. Massachusetts is set to receive an initial shipment of 120,000 doses. "We now have two vaccines that we can deploy," Dr. Kuritzkes said. "We know that since we would like to see the entire country vaccinated it's going to take more than a single vaccine manufacturer to produce a vaccine for everyone. The more vaccines we have deployed the better we are."

Like Pfizer's vaccine, Moderna's requires two shots several weeks apart. However, it can be stored at slightly warmer temperatures in standard refrigerators and has a longer shelf life

Health officials say the emergency vaccine comes at a critical time, as they are very concerned about the impact of rise in case numbers on hospitalizations. The only way to get this pandemic under control is to get as many people vaccinated as possible.

"The reason we no longer have small pox or polio is because we have effective vaccines for those diseases and people have taken those vaccines and people need to do the same for COVID," Dr. Kuritzkes said.

Brockton VA resident Guy Maroon agrees. "They say you can't have change unless there's change. I am hoping the few of us that are here can start that change," Maroon said.

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