FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WFFT) -- The time between the first confirmed COVID-19 case to the deployment of a vaccine took a little less than a year, which has created some questions surrounding the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine.
Brian Dixon, Ph.D, Director of Public Health Informatics at the Regenstrief Institute, the same organizations that is helping the Indiana State Department of Health with the fight against COVID-19 says despite the vaccine being available quickly, it’s safe and effective.
"The vaccine data shows extremely promising results. It’s about 95 percent effective after the second dose, meaning that only less than five percent of people who receive the dose during the clinical trials developed COVID-19 or any kind of severe outcomes from covid-19," Dixon said.
The Pfizer vaccine comes in two doses, taken about three weeks apart. The first is to prepare your immune system to fight the disease with the second to boost immunity.
Dixon says according to data from Pfizer, even the first doses show to be fairly effective just a short time after being given.
"It look like the vaccine is highly effective after about seven days from taking that first dose. That it may be as high as 75 or 80 percent effective just from the first dose."
Dixon says though that to be fully effective, people need to get both doses from the same manufacturer.
Even if you’ve already had COVID-19, Dixon says immunity against the virus may only last about three months.
Dixon said, "We do recommend that individuals who’ve had COVID-19 consider getting the vaccine because the vaccine is designed in such a way that you might actually be able to develop better immunity from the vaccine than you would naturally getting COVID-19."
This vaccine is designed in a way that does not give the recipient COVID-19 but prepares the body to fight it off.
Some people may still experience minor side effects from the vaccine and the risk of people contracting serious side effects is very low.
However, with the vaccine only being about 95 percent effective, that means five percent of people who get the vaccine could still develop COVID-19, which is why Dixon says it’s still important to keep doing what we’re doing until the vaccine is available to everyone.
"We still need to be following good hand hygiene, and mask-wearing, and social distancing over the next several months, probably until summer.”
To read the full FDA briefing by Pfizer regarding their COVID-19 vaccine, click here.