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How safe new coronavirus vaccines are, according to Kansas health officials

Coronavirus in Kansas

TOPEKA, Kan. (KSNT) – Two pharmaceutical companies have announced promising results from coronavirus vaccines are in the works. Pfizer announced Wednesday that its vaccine proved to be 95% effective in a final analysis of Phase 3 clinical trials. And Tuesday, Moderna announced that in early trials its vaccine is 94.5% effective.

While the COVID-19 pandemic is a newer development, Kansas’ top disease expert said a vaccine has been in development for years.  

“This is built on a vaccine for coronavirus in general that started many years ago,” said Phil Griffin, Deputy Director of the Bureau of Disease Control and Prevention at KDHE. “There’s a lot of concern that this has been rushed through, and it’s a brand-new formula that’s come up, and that’s really not the case.”

News reports indicate more than 130 vaccines have been in development.   

Scientists have been tweaking and testing treatments that have already been approved for other diseases, which allows them to take advantage of years of research. Some of the first medications tested were Hydroxychloroquine and Remdesevir, which have been used to treat Ebola and Malaria.

“The vaccine will go through a significant amount of testing,” said Griffin. “We will have safety data, and we will be basing all our decisions on vaccine safety.”

According to Kansas’ vaccine distribution plan, healthcare workers and the most vulnerable populations will receive the vaccine first.

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