Suncoast researcher and USF Dean shares his thoughts on COVID-19 vaccine

Suncoast researcher and USF Dean shares his thoughts on COVID-19 vaccine
WWSB ABC7's Jacqueline Matter speaks with Dr. Jay Wolfson of USF about the COVID-19 vaccine. (Source: WWSB)

SARASOTA, Fla. (WWSB) - After months of lockdown, nearly 5 million confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the United States and more than 157,000 deaths, people in the United States are increasingly desperate for an end to the pandemic. The U.S Food and Drug Administration recently released a 53-page evaluation that confirmed the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine highly effective and safe.

Scientists have began researching, testing, approving, and safely manufacturing and distributing the vaccine in trials.

Dr. Jay Wolfson, Senior Associate Dean for Health Policy and Practice at the Morsani College of Medicine, says the vaccine has very high rates of success and validity. He says scientists still don’t know how long the vaccine will keep a human safe from the virus, saying researchers are still trying to understand how the virus behaves.

“If I get a vaccine today and I get my second shot 21 days from now, my expectation is that my immunity will last for forever if possible, but we don’t know that yet,” said Wilson.

Wilson says the vaccine will cause someone’s antibodies to test positive for the virus, saying the vaccine will either give someone a “dead version of it” or trick one’s body into thinking that they’ve already had it. He also says anyone who has tested positive for the virus can still get vaccinated against it.

“Your body will say ‘I’ve already had it and I’m done with it’. It won’t be an active live version of the virus,” said Wilson.

Wilson says the virus has the potential to mutate which would cause scientists to have to modify the vaccine. Wilson says most people should have access to the vaccine by late Spring.

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