BAKERSFIELD, Calif. — Help may be heading our way soon as experts from the company Pfizer and BioNtech Inc. are asking U.S. regulators to allow the emergency use of its COVID-19 vaccine, as early as next month.
23ABC spoke to a local doctor from Adventist Health Hospital in Central Bakersfield, about the potential impacts of a COVID-19 vaccine.
With the announcement from Pfizer and BioNTech this could start the clock on a process that would bring limited vaccine shots to our community as soon as December and Dr. Jonathan Dario, of Adventist Health Bakersfield said he is encouraging viewers at home to get it, if and when it becomes available.
"Still benefits outweigh the risks in this case for us," Dr. Dario said.
Like many doctors across the nation, Dr. Dario is seeing a surge in coronavirus cases and he said at this point the benefits of a vaccine outweigh the risks in his medical opinion.
"We need to have all the tools necessary to combat the infection."
Meanwhile, a tool for creating immunity in our community could be in the palm of our hands soon, as Pfizer and BioNTech Inc., one of the world's largest American multinational pharmaceutical companies, announced Friday that its vaccine appears 95% effective at preventing mild to severe COVID-19 infections with two dosages.
Pfizer and BioNTech Inc. is now asking the Food and Drug Administration to allow the emergency use of its COVID-19 vaccine.
If approved they said a limited number of vaccine shots could be rolled out in the U.S. as early as next month and would eventually create an end to the pandemic.
Pfizer and BioNTech Inc. have already started sending out applications in Europe and the U.K. and they said they intend to submit more information soon about the vaccine.
Whereas, Moderna, another pharmaceutical company also announced Monday that early clinical trial results show its vaccine is 94.5% effective, and it also plans to apply to the FDA for authorization after it accumulates more safety data later this month.
"We don't know the long term effects yet of the vaccine, but overall we know that from what we have seen from studies they have been overall safe in the short term. The short term people don't have that many symptoms when they get the vaccine."
Unlike other vaccines Dr. Dario said the Pfizer and BioNTech Inc. vaccine is not introducing a live infection into your body and it would help you fight COVID-19 if you come in contact with it.
"It's actually you getting a little piece of information that your body takes and then create immunity from that."
Dr. Dario said even if a vaccine should make it to Kern County soon, we all still need to wear masks and practice social distancing to reduce transmission of COVID-19.