Those who have lost loved ones and those who are working around the clock on the frontline finally have a reason to be optimistic. Those were the words from Dr. Paul Carson, an infectious disease specialist, here in the state during the North Dakota Department of Health press conference on Wednesday.
Soon, Pfizer and Moderna should get approval from the government. Their vaccines have about 95 percent efficacy, which means it will prevent people, who get the vaccine, from getting the virus 95 percent of the time.
Dr. Carson says 90 percent of complications caused by a vaccine appear within six weeks, and with eight weeks of observation, the COVID vaccines have not shown serious side effects.
He says if you’re still nervous about taking a COVID vaccine, it’s important to weigh the risks.
Without a vaccine, there is every reason to believe the pandemic would continue to rage on.
“A vaccine, quite honestly, is the only reasonable way out of this pandemic, and so choosing not to be vaccinated means choosing to likely get COVID-19 in the future as this pandemic continues to march through the population,” said Dr. Carson.
He also said he plans to get vaccinated and is encouraging all his friends and family to get one too.
As far as side effects go, Dr. Carson says they are mostly mild and only last a day or two.
Distribution was also a very big topic.
Molly Howell, the state’s Immunization Director, says if Pfizer is given government approval on Dec. 10 it could ship as soon as 24 hours after that.
Close to 20,000 doses of the vaccine from Moderna and Pfizer could arrive in North Dakota before December ends.
Each person will need two doses to be immunized.
The state says its very first batch of vaccines will go to hospital workers in Bismarck, Minot, Fargo and Grand Forks.
It expects long-term care residents and staff members to receive vaccinations before the end of this year.