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Avera Medical Minute: Questions and answers about coronavirus vaccinations

Published: Dec. 29, 2020 at 3:41 PM CST
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SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (Dakota News Now) - The Coronavirus vaccine continues to be distributed throughout the region. Dr. Kevin Post, Chief Medical Officer at Avera Medical Group answers questions about the latest developments.

Q: What do we need to know about the report of another strain of the Coronavirus being reported in North America?

A: I think what’s important to know is we’re following it very closely. It does appear to be fairly contagious, perhaps even more so than the original strain. The vaccines that have been developed specifically through Pfizer and Moderna, which are being distributed now throughout the United States, appear that it will most likely be effective against this strain. So those companies are having ongoing studies to help confirm that as well, but the way the vaccine currently works, and the way this new strain appears likely the vaccine will be effective for it, so that’s pretty encouraging.

Q: With this change in the variant of the strain indicate that in the future, we’d need to have different types of vaccines similar to a flu vaccine that’s different every year?

A: Yes that very well maybe, because in general coronaviruses do not mutate as much as some other virus strains do such as influenza, but it would not be shocking or surprising if you know through the months and years that lay ahead of us, if we do have to slightly adjust the coronavirus vaccine, if we do continue to take that going forward, to fit the current strain that is present globally.

Q: And how is the vaccine distribution going in our area?

A: It is going very well. We’re very grateful to our health care workers, our frontline workers our nursing home employees who have been willing to step up and take the vaccination and I think it’s really been a mindset of: ‘I’m taking this to help protect our patients and protect our community,’ so people have been very engaged involved in. It’s been going well so we have had very minimal side effects very minimal reactions. And nothing that we couldn’t handle as far as any severe reactions as well.

Q: And what is the vaccination schedule looking like into the future?

A: We’ll be moving more into like what’s called the 1-B and 1-C phase, so that will include nursing home residents will be prioritized. And then following that, we’ll be doing a lot of our frontline workers out in society, so you think of like police officers, first responders daycare employees, etc. We are moving forward, rather quickly, and it does look promising as well that we’ll continue to receive distribution of the vaccine going forward from both Pfizer and Moderna.

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