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Vermont health commissioner optimistic about COVID-19 vaccine trial

Published: Nov. 11, 2020 at 9:03 AM EST
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BURLINGTON, Vt. (WCAX) - Vermont health officials say they are encouraged by the positive news of a coronavirus vaccine trial.

Research shows Pfizer’s COVID vaccine appears to be 90% effective. It’s on track to be approved for use as early as next month and shots will likely be available by April.

Vermont Health Commissioner Dr. Mark Levine on Tuesday said he is optimistic, but added that vaccines need to be paired with distancing, mask-wearing, travel restrictions and limited gatherings to defeat COVID.

“I do want to be upbeat about a vaccine, perhaps more upbeat than I have been all along. When a company reports 90% effectiveness rate, that’s sort of like way beyond anyone’s wildest expectations,” he said.

The UVM Medical Center has begun enrolling volunteers as part of its COVID vaccine trial. It’s not the Pfizer shot but a similar one developed by Oxford University and manufactured by AstraZeneca.

Among the first people to take part in the study is Abenaki Nation Chief Don Stevens who said he felt it was important to participate because Native Americans are at higher risk of illness caused by COVID-19.

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How you can participate in COVID vaccine trial

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