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Doctor compares Pfizer, Moderna COVID-19 vaccines as shipments begin arriving at rural hospitals

Chambers County is the first in Southeast Texas to announce the arrival of the Moderna vaccine.

TEXAS, USA — Chambers County became the first to report that they've received the Moderna vaccine with both of the FDA’s approved vaccines in our area. 12News spoke with a Texas doctor to break down how the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines work.

“Rural hospitals were left out,” James Cutrell said.

Unlike other major hospitals, smaller communities had to wait a little longer for their medical miracle.

“We can't even tell them when. It's frustrating, I think, for everyone,” Cutrell said.

But it’s not anymore, well at least for Chambers County.

They're the first in Southeast Texas to announce the arrival of one thousand doses of the Moderna vaccine.

They didn't receive the Pfizer vaccine, so these doses are much welcomed.

“I would argue that rural physicians and nurses are more important in the COVID response than urban physicians and nurses simply because you lose a couple of them and you're in crisis,” Cutrell said.

The county's health department says they've been working for months on a local COVID-19 vaccine distribution plan.

RELATED: Chambers County healthcare facilities receive first round of Moderna COVID-19 vaccines

Several health care facilities will be setup throughout the area for the first round of frontline medical workers to get their shots.

So, what makes the Pfizer vaccine different from the Moderna vaccine?

The Pfizer vaccine must be kept in one of these freezers stored at negative 70 degree Celsius.

On the other hand Moderna can be stored at negative 20 degrees. That's the temperature of an average home freezer making Moderna's easier to handle.

Both were made with vaccine technology called M- RNA

“The M-RNA itself is not very stable at room temperature. Once you take it and put it in the refrigerator, the Pfizer vaccine is only stable for about five days. Moderna vaccine on the other hand appears to be stable at refrigerator temperature for about 30 days,” Cutrell said.

The Pfizer vaccine is also proven to be more effective than the Moderna vaccine. Pfizer claimed 95 percent efficacy. Moderna's is slightly lower at 94 percent. Both vaccines require two doses. 

The Moderna doses are given 28 days apart. It's 21 days apart for the Pfizer vaccine.

Chambers County will start administering the Moderna vaccine on Sunday.

The county's goal is to ensure a timely and efficient distributing process.

RELATED: COVID-19 vaccines arrive at three Southeast Texas hospitals, health officials say

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