Wolf administration stresses efficacy of COVID-19 vaccines

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HARRISBURG, DAUPHIN COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU-TV) — Governor Tom Wolf, Secretary of Health Dr. Rachel Levine, Director of Testing and Contact Tracing Michael Huff and Dr. Cynthia Chuang, chief of the Division of General Internal Medicine at Penn State Health Milton S. Hershey Medical Center, provided an update on COVID-19 in the commonwealth, as well as promoted the efficacy of the COVID-19 vaccine.

Governor Tom Wolf spoke about vaccine speculation regarding safety and effectiveness. Wolf admitted that there is a lot of information surrounding the vaccine, advising those who have speculation to turn to the CDC and Department of Health’s website.

The governor discussed that we live in a time of groundbreaking research and scientific discovery, which is what allowed experts to develop vaccines quickly and effectively by using advances in vaccine technology to swiftly and safely develop vaccines, such as the coronavirus vaccine.

“I’m here to tell you the COVID-19 vaccine is safe to use, and very good to protect people,” said Governor Wolf.

Dr. Cynthia Chuang discussed the safety of the vaccine from the perspective of a physician.

The two vaccines being administered, Pfizer and Moderna, have been reported to have 94 and 95 percent efficacy. In comparison, Dr. Chuang said the seasonal flu vaccine usually ranges between 40-60 percent efficacy.

As for symptoms after getting the vaccine, both Dr. Chuang and Governor Wolf said they are expected. Governor Wolf said symptoms are a good sign, a sign that the vaccine is teaching the body how to fight off the coronavirus. Dr. Chuang said out of millions of doses given, only 11.1 cases showed severe reactions.

Dr. Rachel Levine provided an update on the number of vaccines distributed in the state. That number is reaching one million, as the state is in its fifth week of vaccination.

Vaccination clinics opened at 159 skilled nursing facilities this week. Vaccine providers have administered vaccines to a total of 311,477 people, including 251,133 people who have received their first dose and 30,172 who have received two doses and are considered fully vaccinated.

Governor Wolf spoke on the ease of receiving the vaccine, that it is free of cost and to speak with your health provider ahead of time.

“This is the light at the end of the tunnel. Let’s go out and get our vaccines,” said Wolf.

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