By Steve Coulter
The wait for a Coronavirus vaccine is almost over and now everyone must make a very important decision. Will you take the vaccine or not?
About 40% of Americans say they are not willing to take the COVID-19 vaccine. Some believe the vaccine had a rushed timeline. Others want to confirm the vaccine is safe and effective. And many people don’t trust vaccines in general.
Did you know over 800 people from the Oklahoma City area participated in the Pfizer and Moderna studies?
Carlos Blanco is the President and Chief Executive Officer of the Lynn Health Science Institute in Norman Oklahoma. His team administered the vaccines for this important clinical trial.
“We have two vaccine candidates that work ninety-four to ninety-five percent in terms of preventing COVID-19 altogether. In the four to five percent it doesn’t prevent you from getting the disease, it appears to offer some levels of protection from getting the most severe cases of COVID-19. That is great news for all of us,” said Blanco.
The volunteers in the vaccine trial experienced very few side effects. There were no severe cases reported across the entire study.
Some volunteers experienced redness at the injection site. A few people reported fatigue. And very few reported a low grade fever at the second injection.
“Steve it would be very similar to what you might experience with your yearly flu shot,” said Blanco.
This is a two injection vaccine. During the second injection some people tend to have a little more symptoms. A few volunteers experienced a very low grade fever that only lasted for two or three hours and then it was gone.
The second injection is meant to boost your immune system to have an even higher response. Hopefully the second injection will extend your immunity to months if not years. They still don’t know if the vaccine will offer protection for 6 months, a year or perhaps life. They will know more in the months ahead.
The vaccine results are among the most successful in history. Ranking right up there with the polio and measles vaccines according to Blanco. He said they are very good vaccines with extraordinary results.
I wondered how the coronavirus vaccine is already more effective than the flu vaccine. How can the coronavirus vaccine have around a ninety-five percent success rate when typically the flu vaccines do not?
“The reason for that Steve is that the flu vaccine only has three or four strains in the flu shot. There are thousands of different strains of the flu. Every year we have to decide which three or four are going to be the prominent strains for the year. With the coronavirus there’s only one strain of the virus. It mutates a little bit, but in large part it is the same virus. There are multiple coronaviruses, but right now only one COVID-19 virus. It’s much easier to attack it because it’s only one,” said Blanco.
So, I wondered what he would say to those that are still hesitant to take the vaccine?
“People can trust that the data collected through our trials is safe. It has not been politically influenced. It has certainly not been rushed. They should trust in the drug results that we have heard. Get vaccinated. All the data shows that this is a very, very safe vaccine that works really well. I would tell people to please take it so we can all go back to some resemblance of regular lives and quit loosing family members and friends to this terrible virus,” said Blanco.
What about people that have already tested positive for COVID-19? Should they get the vaccine? According to Blanco the answers Is yes. Antibodies only last three to six months after testing positive. So those individuals don’t have protection after that time frame. Blanco said there have been multiple cases of people who have gotten COVID twice.
Blanco says everyone needs to get vaccinated to end this pandemic.
“We’re not going to end the pandemic if we don’t get eighty to eighty-five percent of people vaccinated. It will go on next year and the year after that and the year after that until it goes through three hundred twenty million Americans,” he said.
There are other manufacturers who have COVID-19 vaccine trials coming up. They need more vaccine makers to supply the billions of doses that will be needed to supply the world. They are seeking volunteers now for the new studies coming up. Usually the vaccine trials will pay somewhere between one thousand to fifteen hundred dollars over the course of a two year period. It’s about one hundred dollars every time you come into the office.
“They can call the Lynn Institute at 405-447-8839 or they can go to our website at www.lhsi.net,” said Blanco.