Health experts say COVID-19 vaccine development continues

Local News

LUBBOCK, Texas — As Lubbock’s COVID-19 case numbers continue to go up, many are wondering how much longer it will be until a vaccine is made available.

It usually takes 10 to 15 years to develop a regular vaccine, however, under the Trump administration’s Operation Warp Speed – there has been more government funds put into research for a COVID-19 vaccine. Health experts said they’re anticipating that at the earliest, a vaccine could be made available by January – although it is impossible to know for sure as trials are still underway.

“I think there will come some mistrust from the public, because you’re thinking, ‘Oh, something that usually takes a really long time, now we’re rushing to it,'” said Covenant Health Clinical Pharmacist Larry Pineda. “And I think that’s where a lot of the vaccine hesitancy comes from with COVID-19.”

Pineda said it might be difficult for some to trust a vaccine created in such a short amount of time. If the vaccine is mandated, that also raises concerns for some.

“When the vaccine does hit the market, then ultimately, we should have a choice, and we should be able to accept or reject that vaccine without consequence,” said Jackie Schlegel, Executive Director with Texans for Vaccine Choice.

Schlegel explained that when it comes to getting any kind of vaccine, the choice to get the vaccine should always come down to the individual.

“All medical procedures carry risk,” she said. “That’s just, we can all agree with that. We know that all pharmaceuticals carry some sort of, you know, risk associated with taking them vaccines are no different.”

Both Schlegel and Pineda said whenever considering a vaccine, you should always consult your medical providers.

“Trust your infectious disease professionals, they’re the ones that will know the most on it. And I would want someone to feel comfortable that anything, any vaccine that is FDA approved, that they know that it’s undergone a very rigorous process of approval, and that is going to be safe,” said Pineda.

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