The Vaccines: Hope on the Horizon.’ is our four-part series breaking down a different aspect of COVID-19 vaccine development and distribution. Listen to Utah’s Morning News at 7:45 a.m. and to Jeff Caplan’s Afternoon News at 4:45 p.m. every day this week for the latest.
The prospect of being one of the first people to ever get a COVID-19 vaccine before its approval can be intimidating. Test subject Steve Nunez says he had plenty of concerns when he signed up for the test study. Still, he felt compelled.
“I just wanted to help out. There are so many people I’ve lost,” he said. “I’ve lost a lot of seriously close people and even family due to the fact that COVID happened.”
We’re getting closer to having an approved Covid-19 vaccine but can we trust that it’s safe to take? While full safety data isn’t released until a vaccine has been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, one of Utah’s top doctors said there are many safeguards in place and that she is “cautiously optimistic.”
The Utah Department of Health is finalizing its COVID-19 vaccination plan, which will feature mass-scale storage and distribution of the vaccines.
But as many wonder who will get the vaccines, and when, it’s important to remember that some serious work behind the scenes was needed to even get “vaccine ready.”
That’s no small task, according to the state’s immunizations director, Rich Lakin.
Dr. Mark Oliver, the Head of Infectious Disease at St, Mark’s Hospital in Salt Lake City, agrees with following public health guidelines.
However, he also believes the immunity COVID-19 patients acquire will play a role in achieving herd immunity.
“We are encouraged that a combination of vaccination plus ongoing infection in the community will get us to that magic percentage that we call herd immunity,” Oliver says.
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