DENVER, Colorado — For the second week in a row, a major COVID-19 vaccine developer has delivered promising news. Like Pfizer, Moderna announced its vaccine has proved extremely effective 95% of the time in trials like the one being conducted at University of Colorado Hospital.
“Have not been sick. Have not had any side effects. No arm pain. No fevers. No flu-like symptoms. We really have felt fine,” said Dr. Lisa Wynn of she and her husband Charles Wynn.
The two have received two shots as trial participants in recent months but aren’t sure if it’s a placebo or the actual vaccine.
“I'm hoping that I hit the lottery and that actually the two shots that I got were the actual vaccine,” said Charles Wynn. “For the first time, it seems we have science-based, concrete information that shows a ray of light and that is very much appreciated.”
Dr. Lisa Wynn is also an OBGYN who is paying close attention to all of the vaccine news and more importantly, the data. Moderna said Monday it's vaccine appears to be 95% effective compared to Pfizer’s 90%. So far, the side effects have been mild.
“That provides me a greater level of confidence with telling my patients, 'hey, I think this is safe and effective.' Once the data supports all of that, and the final data comes out, I'll have no problem getting behind the vaccine,” said Dr. Lisa Wynn.
Public confidence will be one of the biggest hurdles. Dr. Thomas Campbell is leading the Moderna vaccine trial at UCHealth.
"There has to be an outpouring of public support with people who are willing to get the vaccine in order to get the coverage that we need to put an end to the U.S. part of the pandemic,” he said.
Beyond that obstacle, those who do trust the vaccine and it's data will have to be patient. Pfizer and Moderna hope to have a combined 40 million doses ready for nationwide distribution before Jan. 1. But each person will need two doses.
Colorado health officials have a plan to get the vaccine to 330,000 first responders, healthcare workers and nursing home residents first. Even if those initial doses ship, it's unlikely to be enough for that group, but it’s a solid start.
Dr. Lisa Wynn and her husband Charles won’t know if they have the placebo or actual vaccine until the FDA grants emergency use authorization, which could come in the next few weeks pending more data analysis.
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