Covid-19 vaccines have revolutionized vaccine technology, experts say

MEDFORD, Ore. — “It finds some way to fool your body into making antibodies without you actually getting sick,” said Dr. Jim Shames, Jackson Co. health officer.

It’s the fastest vaccine developed in human history, but that’s not the only interesting fact about the new coronavirus vaccine.

Jackson County Health Officer Dr. Jim shames says the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines have a new kind of MRNA technology never used in a vaccine before.

“[The vaccine] puts a little tiny piece of the genetic code into our body which then allows ourselves to make little spike, little bits of protein unique to the virus. And as soon as they get into our bloodstream our immune system goes to work,” said Dr. Shames.

Dr. Shames says side effects have been minimal so far, such as a sore arm and muscle aches and pains.

But adverse effects may take more time to develop.

“Often you don’t discover untoward effects that are rare. Until you’ve vaccinated millions of people,” said Dr. Shames.

It’s no secret viruses mutate like the flu virus, which requires a new vaccine every year.

Dr. Shames doesn’t think mutations will affect these¬†vaccines and their immunity against the virus.

Josephine County Public Health Officer Dr. David Candelaria disagrees.

“Apparently in Denmark, there was a mutation of this virus in minks and the mutation occurred in the spike protein. So, who’s to say that a spike protein mutation at some point is going to change it enough that any vaccine against this protein may no longer be effective,” said Dr. Candelaria.

Both doctors say the effectiveness of the new vaccines are not in question.

If you’re hesitant about getting vaccinated, they say the risk of getting Covid-19 is a risk you don’t want to take.

“The virus can devastate, devastate a person. Anyone who gets this virus could end up seriously ill, even fatally ill,” said Dr. Candelaria.

The first round of vaccines this month are going to health care workers.

Health officials say it could be months before young people and other people who are ‘low risk’ get vaccinated.

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