It will use the Moderna one, when available

   WHATCOM ­— Family Care Network will be using the Moderna vaccine for COVID-19, with doses 28 days apart, the local physician network announced last week.

  The vaccine was not available on Jan. 7, nor was it known for sure when it would be. The FNC website did not show any update on Tuesday, Jan. 12.

  “As soon as vaccine is available, we will be ready to start vaccinations for eligible groups and will provide information to our patients on how to make an appointment,” the network emailed to its users.

  For general vaccine information, FCN recommend the Centers for Disease Control website, the state Department of Health website or the COVID-19 Assistance Hotline at 1-800-525-0127.

  This is background information given by FNC as to the vaccine and its administration of it:

  • COVID-19 vaccines developed by Pfizer and Moderna have been approved for emergency use. Vaccines from other companies may also be approved in coming weeks and months.

  • The Moderna vaccine requires two doses, 28 days apart.

  • Vaccine has been shipped to the state Department of Health for distribution to local governments, health facilities and pharmacies. Family Care Network is enrolled in the state distribution program.

  • Last week, the supply of COVID-19 vaccine was very limited, but it is expected to become more available. FCN received one small shipment of Moderna vaccine for its front-line employees and providers (in group 1A).

  • As to vaccine safety: “We take our role in evaluating vaccine safety for our patients very seriously. Our physician leadership team has reviewed the clinical trial data available on the COVID-19 vaccines being considered for approval. They are highly confident they will be safe and effective.”

  As for all vaccines, some people may be advised against getting this one based on their personal health history. Information from agencies will continue to be monitored for making recommendations to patients.

  • COVID-19 vaccine will be available at no cost to individuals. Clinicians giving the vaccine may charge an administration fee, which is billed to public or private insurance and reimbursed according to terms of the plan. Uninsured patients may have the administration fee covered by the HRSA COVID-19 Provider Relief Fund, or private pay policies may apply.

  • COVID-19 vaccine has initially been prioritized for health care workers and long-term care facilities. As more vaccine becomes available, it will be more broadly available in the community. FCN will follow state and local recommendations for COVID-19 vaccine prioritization released on Jan. 6.

  • Since it isn’t known how much vaccine FCN will get, or when, no waiting lists will be kept, and no appointments will be scheduled until there is more information and that will be communicated to patients.