Local doctor discusses what makes COVID-19 vaccines so effective

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The country now has two COVID-19 vaccines that have been approved for emergency use

(WKBN) – While many still wait to get the COVID-19 vaccine, some Tier One healthcare workers across the country are now days into getting immunized.

But what makes the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines so effective?

The country now has two COVID-19 vaccines that have been approved for emergency use.

Moderna and Pfizer are both reporting over 90% effectiveness, and that’s thanks to new science and technology.

“It is the process how which they produce immunity in the system, so it’s not any kind of special sauce,” said Dr. Mike Sevilla of the Family Practice Center of Salem. “It’s never been done before. That’s part of the excitement, especially from the medical aspect.”

Sevilla says he has heard that the vaccine doesn’t have many ingredients added to it.

With both vaccine’s data being released, this opens the door for other companies.

“I think a lot of companies are going to be looking to see how we can duplicate this. How we can maybe do something similar or the same thing to get more vaccines out there,” he said.

Sevilla says he doesn’t recommend one vaccine over the other, but there are still more answers needed.

“The big questions that I get a lot is that are we going to need a booster every year, every couple of years? That, we’re not sure yet because we’re still studying it,” Sevilla said.

The technology used to make these vaccines can help with a potential booster shot, but there are some side effects, such as headaches, pain in the injection site and fatigue.

Which means the vaccine is working.

“If people are expecting to have zero side effects, I wouldn’t think that’s fair. I think this vaccine is supposed to be revving up people’s immune system to fight this COVID illness. I would expect people to have maybe some mild side effects from this,” Sevilla said.

He says he’s ready to get the vaccine when he’s told to get it, and some of his other colleagues have already gotten it.

“They’re seeing this vaccine as, really, kind of an injection,” Sevilla said. “A shot of hope in this pandemic.”

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