OU Health doctors say vaccine is the light at the end of a long tunnel

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OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – While it’ll be months before the vaccine will be available to the general public, doctors here OU Health are calling the vaccine a light at the end of a very long tunnel.

“How badly do you want to get back to what you think is a normal life? That’s how important this is,” said Dr. Douglas Drevets, OU Health Chief of Infectious Diseases.

“We need to see a substantial portion of the population vaccinated so we can get back to what many of us consider the old normal,” said Dr. Dale Bratzler, OU Chief COVID officer.

OU Health experts are encouraging Oklahomans to get the COVID-19 vaccine when it becomes available, even if you’ve already had the virus.

“The answer is in general yes, particularly if you’re in one of the high risk groups because of age or because of underlying health conditions,” Drevets said. “We just don’t know how immunity to COVID lasts. Is it short time or is it long time? We do not know the answer to that yet.”

Drevets says the vaccine is safe but there are side effects you should be aware of.

“The most common side effect is pain at the injection sight, fatigue and headache. Those happen in anywhere from 30 to 60 percent of people,” Drevets said.

He says side effects have been shown to be generally mild or moderate. But few people have had severe reactions.

“I’ll be in line to get the vaccine when it’s offered to me,” Bratzler said.

“I am absolutely up for [the vaccine] and I am looking forward to it,” Drevets said. “We really need the vaccine to get back to something of what we think is a normal life.”

The first doses of the vaccine will be in Oklahoma in the next week.

Phase one of the vaccine distribution plan will begin with the first doses reserved for frontline healthcare workers.

The general public should be able to get the vaccine sometime in 2021.

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