Pfizer's highly anticipated COVID-19 vaccine made its way to Utah this week and into the arms of some frontline healthcare workers.
Dr. Amy Khan, Executive Medical Director for Regence BlueCross BlueShield of Utah says the vaccine is exciting news in the battle against COVID-19.
"The data so far shows that this vaccine is not only effective, but really had a very good safety profile with very minor side effects," says Khan, "We’ve seen that it was 95 percent effective, meaning it prevented infections in 95 percent of the people who got the immunization compared to those who didn’t."
However, Khan says we all need to stay vigilant. "We can’t let our guard down yet. We have to continue to mask up, wash our hands and stay physically distant."
After healthcare workers, residents of assisted living facilities or nursing homes will be next in line to be vaccinated.
"They have set priority groups. Who gets the vaccine first. And in part it's because these are the people who are most likely to become infected because they’re taking care of people with COVID-19 or at risk."
Next in line for vaccination is essential workers, including teachers. Then, in the months ahead, the vaccines should be more readily available to the general public.
"By mid-year we'll be sweeping through with the rest of the population. Ideally, we'll have a lot more vaccine available, not just from Pfizer and Moderna, but a couple of these other vaccines that will be submitting their requests for emergency authorizations. So there will be more options and more places to get the vaccine," says Khan.
Khan says it's just one crucial part when it comes to successfully addressing COVID-19. "We can do this. It’s going to be a brighter day next year. And we can do this together."
Click here for more information about the COVID-19 vaccine from Regence BlueCross BlueShield of Utah.
Dr. Amy Khan from Regence Blue Cross Blue Shield will be taking your questions about the COVID-19 vaccine live Tuesday, December 22 at noon on the FOX 13 Facebook page. Log in to ask your question live, or send your questions ahead of time to email@example.com.