U.S. begins shipping second COVID-19 vaccine

Workers packed up and shipped out Moderna's COVID-19 vaccine on Sunday, the second approved coronavirus vaccine in the United States, where cases and deaths from the disease continued to climb.

And while the new Moderna shots promised to vastly widen the vaccine rollout, U.S. officials were monitoring a new strain of COVID-19 that emerged in the United Kingdom.

U.S. SURGEON GENERAL JEROME ADAMS: "...that just means that we need to be that much more vigilant while we wait to get vaccinated."

Speaking on CBS's Face The Nation Sunday, U.S. Surgeon General Jerome Adams, who received the Pfizer vaccine publicly last week, said there was no indication that the new strain would impact the U.S. vaccination effort.

ADAMS: "Viruses mutate all the time, and that does not mean that this virus is any more dangerous. We don't even know if it's really more contagious yet or not or if it just happened to be a strain that was involved in a superspreader event. Right now, we have no indications that it is going to hurt our ability to continue vaccinating people or that it is any more dangerous or deadly than the strains that are currently out there and that we know about."

U.S. officials said it was most likely that the first Moderna vaccine shot, which was approved by the FDA on Friday, would be given to people on Monday morning.

Some states are choosing to use Moderna's shots for harder-to-reach rural areas because they can be stored for 30 days in standard-temperature refrigerators. Pfizer's must be shipped and stored in much colder conditions and can be held for only five days at standard refrigerator temperatures.

The start of delivery for the Moderna vaccine will significantly widen availability of COVID-19 vaccines nationwide, as the United States was reporting more than 2,500 deaths daily, according to a Reuters analysis, reaching a total of more than 316,000 U.S. deaths related to the coronavirus.

Video Transcript

- Workers packed up and shipped out Moderna's COVID-19 vaccine on Sunday, the second approved coronavirus vaccine in the United States, where cases and deaths from the disease continued to climb. And while the new Moderna shots promise to vastly widen the vaccine rollout, US officials were monitoring a new strain of COVID-19 that emerged in the United Kingdom.

JEROME ADAMS: And that just means that we need to be that much more vigilant, while we wait to get vaccinated.

- Speaking on CBS's Face the Nation Sunday, US Surgeon General Jerome Adams, who received the Pfizer vaccine publicly last week, said there was no indication that the new strain would impact the US vaccination effort.

JEROME ADAMS: Viruses mutate all the time, and that does not mean that this virus is any more dangerous. We don't even know if it's really more contagious yet, or not, or if it just happened to be a strain that was involved in a super spreader event. Right now we have no indications that it is going to hurt our ability to continue vaccinating people, or that it is any more dangerous or deadly than the strains that are currently out there and that we know about.

- US officials said it was most likely that the first Moderna vaccine shot which was approved by the FDA on Friday, would be given to people on Monday morning. Some states are choosing to use Moderna shots for harder to reach rural areas, because they can be stored for 30 days in standard temperature refrigerators. Pfizer's vaccine must be shipped and stored in much colder conditions, and can be held for only five days at standard refrigerator temperatures. The start of delivery for the Moderna vaccine will significantly widen availability of COVID-19 vaccines nationwide, as the United States was reporting more than 2,500 deaths daily, according to a Reuters analysis, reaching a total of more than 316 US deaths related to the coronavirus.