Avera Medical Minute: Avera expert answers your questions on coronavirus vaccine

Published: Dec. 3, 2020 at 11:34 AM CST
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SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (Dakota News Now) - Avera Medical Group VP of Clinical Quality Dr. David Basel has been following the development of coronavirus vaccines and is preparing for their arrival at Avera hospitals and clinics across the region. He has information that may answer many of the questions you have.

Q: I understand that there are several different kinds of vaccines available?

A: As it stands right now, we think that the first two vaccines that come out will probably be Pfizer vaccine then followed a week or two later by one by Moderna.

Q: And is there a difference between the two at all?

A: “They’re pretty interchangeable. Also from the safety profiles that we’ve seen so far, they’ve had very similar side effects and both of them have had no major adverse events to them, which is wonderful news and so both of them effectiveness is way better than we were even hoping for. At this point and the side effects on both have been low and so pretty interchangeable. The Pfizer vaccine has to be stored at very cold temperatures minus 70 minus 80, and once it gets taken out of that super cold temperature it’s only stable for about five days so you have to give it pretty rapidly after that point, whereas the Moderna vaccine is actually stable at refrigerator temperatures for about 30 days.

Q: What are the biggest concerns you’ve heard?

A: I’ve heard on the vaccine safety is that we’ve accelerated the timetable so much on these vaccines and that is worrisome to some people. In this case, Operation Warp Speed, the government said we’re willing to take a bet these look promising. We’re going to go ahead and pay you upfront to go ahead and start that production so that if and when these do get approved, we already have production ramped up and doses on hand. We hope in the next few weeks to start seeing vaccinations coming to frontline health care workers and first responders. So I imagine we’re still looking into sometime this spring before. Pretty much all cumbers can get vaccinated.

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