ODESSA, Texas (Big 2/Fox 24) – Pfizer announced Monday that it has developed a COVD-19 vaccination that is more than 90% effective against the virus. While this announcement is one many have been waiting for, local health experts said there is still alot more work to be done before a vaccine is distributed to the public.
“Just the announcement that it has positive data in it of itself, doesn’t mean that a vaccine is already to be released and ready for the population,” said Dr. Rohith Saravanan, Chief Medical Officer for Odessa Regional Medical Center.”These results are good news and we want to make sure that’s still studied, and make sure that the safety concerns are all addressed.”
Pfizer’s vaccine study enrolled over 43,000 patients. During the vaccination trial only 94 patients contracted COVID-19, according to Pfizer. But once a vaccine is approved by the Food and Drug Administration and is allowed to be distributed to the public, Dr. Saravanan said
not everyone will receive it right away.
“It’s going to be available to a small subset of the population, those that are high risk and probably those that are on the front lines helping fight this disease process,” Dr. Saravanan said “Once those people are vaccinated, then if the results are good and things are moving in a right direction, they’ll release many more for the general public.”
Dr. Saravanan said Ector County hospitals have registered to be vaccine distribution sights. Once the hospitals’ registration is approved by the state, it will then determine how many doses will be provided to our local area. But until that time comes, Dr. Saravanan is still urging the public to follow safety guidelines.
“There is a light at the end of the tunnel,” Dr. Saravanan said. “So for now hold tight, follow the precautions where your mask keep the social distance, try to control the numbers in the community because when the vaccine does come out, then we will be able to get through to the other side and not have as many people sick.”