Southcoast Health Infectious Disease Doc Talks COVID-19 Vaccine
Wall Street rallied yesterday on the news that pharmaceutical company Moderna had some early success with its COVID-19 vaccine trials. The results of eight individuals who have received two vaccines over the past two months sent Moderna stocks flying yesterday with a jump of nearly 25 percent. According to an article in the New York Times, "neutralizing antibodies matched or exceeded the levels found in patients who had recovered after contracting the virus in the community."
We asked Dr. Eliesel Lacerda De La Cruz, the Chairman of Infectious Disease Prevention at Southcoast Health, about the possibility that a successful vaccine will be developed.
"I am hopeful that we are going to get one, but I am not SURE that we will," he said. However, the doctor believes that with such a high number of groups dedicating all of their resources to developing a vaccine that at least one successful vaccine will be developed.
He appreciated the innovative way that scientists are scrambling.
"Instead of trying one specific vaccine, seeing if it works, and then abandoning it if it doesn't and starting all over again, they are starting with 14 or 20 targets," he said. "Hopefully, they'll end up with one or two that work."
It's no guarantee, though, says Dr. Lacerda De La Cruz.
"Sometimes you start off with even more than that, but you don't end up with a successful vaccine, ever," he said.
The doctor says that he'd be confident that a vaccine would be safe to take because it is so very hard to get a vaccine approved. He says that he wouldn't have any concerns about getting the vaccine for himself. If someone has reservations about taking the vaccine, the doctor suggests weighing the risks and benefits of taking it.
"If you're a younger person and you have an issue with (vaccines) you might want to play the odds and say, 'well I'm not going to take the vaccine and if I get it, it's probably going to be a mild disease,'" he said. For others that might be in a higher risk group, however, the doctor advised that "it would not be wise not to take the vaccine."