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Vt. health commissioner encouraged by what he sees in COVID vaccines

Published: Nov. 24, 2020 at 3:26 PM EST
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MONTPELIER, Vt. (WCAX) - With three COVID-19 vaccines now showing high efficacy and with some of them potentially becoming available next month, Vermont’s health commissioner says it’s still too early to say if one is going to be better than the others.

The good news is he says none of them appear to have severe side effects.

Dr. Mark Levine said if all else is equal, which vaccine is preferable could come down to things like what temperature the vaccine is stored at, which could make a difference with transportation. Or how many doses it requires because it’s easier to get people one shot than two. And people who only get one of a two-dose shot will likely only get partial protection. So they need both to be safest.

“Not optimal to only get one shot. Not a guarantee that you’ll get any kind of protection that’s meaningful. But possibly partial. But it’s really-- the ones that are being tested now that require two shots it’s because the earlier trials I think demonstrated that that’s what’s necessary to get a sustained antibody response,” Levine said.

I asked how long it takes for your body to develop enough antibodies to COVID-19 once you get the shot. Levine says the data is still early but it looks like it will take weeks to build up immunity. But overall, Levine said he’s encouraged by what he sees in the vaccines so far.

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