Director of Pharmacy talks specifics of COVID-19 vaccines

BOWLING GREEN, Ky.- Wednesday afternoon, the Bowling Green Area Chamber of Commerce hosted a business-to-business call to discuss specifics about the COVID-19 vaccine. 

Dr. Melinda Joyce, Director of Pharmacy for Med Center Health spoke about the vaccine coming to the market, what is in them, and how the rollout in the community will work. 

The second vaccine, Moderna, will potentially be approved tomorrow, Dec. 17. Moderna can be stored in a traditional freezer, unlike the ultra cold freezer for the Pfizer vaccine. This makes it more accessible to places like rural hospitals. The Moderna vaccine is expected to be approved for those 18 years old and older. 

Joyce said there have been no serious safety concerns from the trials done with tens of thousands of people in the United States, and this has been in the works for a while. 

“They actually have been working on this technology, this messenger RNA technology for some time. Because they knew that would be a way that they would be able to create other types of vaccines, not just for coronaviruses. So even though it seems like it happened very quickly, like it happened over just a short nine-month time frame, that was really not the case,” said Joyce. 

The Pfizer vaccine is 95 percent effective and the Moderna vaccine is 94.5 percent effective. Joyce says this is just incredible and not the type of numbers they see with vaccines, as they were hoping for 60 to 70 percent efficacy.