US STRONG news – Bethesda, MD: NIH reports – The National Institutes of Health held a live streamed COVID-19 vaccination event 12.22.2020 to kick-off NIH’s vaccination efforts for its employees on the front line of the COVID-19 pandemic. Six healthcare workers from the NIH Clinical Center will receive the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine, known as mRNA-1273, kicking off a live event during which U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Alex M. Azar II, NIH Director Francis S. Collins, M.D., Ph.D., National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) Director Anthony S. Fauci, M.D., and NIH Office of Research Services Director Colleen A. McGowan will give brief remarks and also be vaccinated.

Dr. Francis Collins, NIH Director, receives the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine at the HHS/NIH COVID-19 Vaccine Kick-Off event at NIH on 12/22/20. NIH photo by Chia-Chi Charlie Chang.

Following the event, additional healthcare workers from the NIH Clinical Center will receive the vaccine from the agency’s first shipment of 100 doses. NIH expects a sizeable shipment from the State of Maryland next week for its tier 1 front line healthcare workers.

This event marks a momentous scientific achievement and demonstrates the confidence HHS and NIH leadership have in vaccines being developed by the U.S. government with funding support through Operation Warp Speed and the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA). This unprecedented scientific achievement comes less than a year following the identification of the genome of the SARS-CoV-2 virus that causes COVID-19. Together with partners, researchers at NIH’s Vaccine Research Center successfully designed, created and tested the vaccine candidate, which has been shown to be more than 94% efficacious in large-scale clinical trials.


National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) Director Anthony S. Fauci, M.D.

The vaccine was co-developed by the Cambridge, Massachusetts-based biotechnology company Moderna, Inc., and NIAID, part of NIH. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration issued an Emergency Use Authorization (EUA)(link is external) for the vaccine on Friday, Dec. 18, 2020.