COLLEGE STATION, Texas — The wait is almost over. Moderna and Pfizer have announced their vaccines are 90- 94 % effective.
While there are many ongoing trials for coronavirus vaccines, these two vaccines are nearing the end of their clinical trials.
“This is the fastest we’ve ever tried to produce a vaccine in the history of the world. Both of those are sort of at the end of the phase 3 clinical trials and have some preliminary evidence about the effectiveness and safety of those vaccines and should be pursuing emergency authorization to try and get those vaccines distributed in the next 2-3 months,” said Texas A&M School Public Health Timothy Callaghan.
Callaghan said it is impossible to tell how long the effects of the vaccine will last before being publicly distributed.
“That’s something the scientists are certainly going to be paying most attention to in the weeks, months, years ahead and there is some thought in the medical community that there might be a need for booster shots, for example just like the flu shot [and how] you have to get it every year,” said Callaghan
Once the vaccine is created, there is still a capacity limit at how many vaccines can be produced at a given time.
“We’re going to have to prioritize who is going to get the first batch because there is not going to be enough for everybody who wants one coming out. So, when you think about it, the fact that they’re going to prioritize this for frontline healthcare workers makes a lot of sense because these are people who are in close contact with COVID-19 positive patients almost on a daily basis. The risk of their exposure is extremely high. So first responders and frontline health care workers really should be first in line in getting that vaccine,” said Texas A&M School of Public Health Angela Clendenin.
After that, Clendenin said the next big distribution is going to be the vulnerable populations.
“These are people who, because of age or maybe because of some preexisting condition, hold a very high risk of having a severe case of COVID-19 and some that may require hospitalization and ventilation, [that] level of severity. We want to make sure that they are really protected,” said Clendenin.
For some, this news of the vaccine may give them a mental break from this long battle against coronavirus.
“The vaccine now offers for that to end potentially. So one thing it’s going to do hopefully is bring some relief, that they can look forward to its eventual ending, that it’s within sight now and it’s not elusive,” said Texas A&M’s Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences Annmarie MacNamara.
These two vaccines may potentially be readily available to the public in late April of 2021.Both Moderna and Pfizer vaccines will be required to be transported and stored in cold areas. For Pfizer, it needs to be stored at negative 80 degrees and Moderna can be stored at normal freezer temperatures.