Local health care professionals outline two FDA approved COVID-19 vaccines

Published: Dec. 19, 2020 at 8:09 PM CST
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ROCKFORD, Ill. (WIFR) - A second COVID-19 vaccine hits the market and health care professionals in the region say they are excited about the two medications.

“We are super excited about the Moderna vaccine,” Director of Pharmacy at SwedishAmerican Dr. Thomas Carey said.

Just over a week removed from the introduction of the first working COVID-19 vaccine, a second makes its way to market as the FDA approves the Moderna product.

“We all hear about herd immunity that’s just going to shorten that time up even further,” Carey said. “As we have two vaccines what that means is we’re going to get more people vaccinated at a quicker pace.”

Dr. Carey says the vaccines use the same technology to build immunity to COVID-19, and although some side effects are different Carey says both products are trustworthy.

“We can’t look at one trial and compare it to the other and say oh this one’s better or this one’s safer when you hold them up next to each other,” Carey said.

Carey says there are some noticeable differences in the products. The Moderna vaccine is stored frozen, a contradiction to the Pfizer product that needs to be kept in extreme cold to preserve its effectiveness.

“It’s sort of like an M&M if you have the chocolate in your hand it’ll quickly melt and that’s what the issue with these vaccines are and so what the vaccines do is they put a little bit of coating on the outside of it,” Carey said.

Emergency physician at Mercyhealth Dr. Matt Smetana calls the Moderna vaccine is another tool in the fight against COVID-19, but adds it may be awhile before this product is available in the Stateline.

“While we did in Winnebago County receive one of the initial allocations most of the state has not yet received any vaccine,” Smetana said. “I know they’re anxiously awaiting the delivery of that vaccine.”

Dr. Smetana and Dr. Carey both have received a Pfizer vaccine and say they felt little to no side effects from the shot.

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