Infectious Disease Specialist Involved With Moderna Vaccine Trial Discusses Its Effectiveness

CBS4's Frances Wang spoke with Dr. Susanne Doblecki-Lewis, the clinical director for the division of infectious diseases at the University of Miami.

Video Transcript

- New at 6 o'clock. With each passing day, new information is coming out on the effectiveness of the three vaccines that are currently available. CBS4's Frances Wang spoke to an infectious disease specialist at the University of Miami, who's been involved with the Moderna vaccine trials there.

- We couldn't be more pleased with them--

FRANCES WANG: Susanne Doblecki-Lewis is the clinical director for the Division of Infectious Diseases at the University of Miami. She was also a principal investigator for Moderna's Miami trial.

- That's turned out to be the case, that they are very promising in that way and can still have that potential if we can get the vaccine out effectively to those who need it.

FRANCES WANG: Flu-like symptoms have been reported by those who got the Moderna vaccine, especially the younger recipients. Dr. Doblecki-Lewis says it's something they knew going in, and we're likely to hear more about it as younger adults are getting vaccinated.

- What was seen in the trials, and I think what we're seeing in real life too, is that people who are younger have a stronger immune response in terms of the symptoms that they have. It probably does reflect just a very robust immune response to the vaccine. So they do experience a little more of those, kind of, you know, not feeling great symptoms, especially after the second dose, than people who are older.

FRANCES WANG: There are concerns that some vaccinated can still catch Covid-19. In Michigan, over 200 fully vaccinated people tested positive more than two weeks after their second dose. That's according to a recent report by the state's health department. Three people died. Dr. Doblecki-Lewis says it's still extremely uncommon.

- When you look at the number of people we've lost to COVID in that same time frame, it's enormous. So I think that, you know, looking at the big picture, there's absolutely no issue with saying that the vaccines are so much safer than risking the possibility of COVID.

FRANCES WANG: With Florida as one of five states making up half of the new COVID cases in the nation, and the UK variant becoming the most prevalent strain, she says it's essential.

- But because this has all been happening over just the last year or so, we have to be a little bit patient in terms of getting information about how long the vaccines will last because they just haven't been out there that long.

- And a reminder, even if you've already had Covid-19 and think you're protected and don't need the vaccine, Dr. Doblecki-Lewis emphasizes it's not clear how long that antibody protection will last, and you should still look into getting your shots. In the studio, I'm Frances Wang, CBS4 News.