Vaccine news has been all over the news for Covid-19. There are different companies making them and people starting to get them, but is it available to me yet?

Today for our 'Community Corner' I visited with Dr. Jill Powers from Grand River Medical Group.

It happens to be National Women Physicians Day, which celebrates Elizabeth Blackwell's birthday. She was the first female medical doctor in the United States, so today we honor women doctors across the country and the progress they've made since Blackwell's time.

Dr. Powers is obviously very passionate about what she does and I sense she gets frustrated from all the misinformation that circulates around the web. That's why I think it's great to have her on the morning show to set the record straight.

Dr. Powers said that at the moment there are two vaccines that have been approved for emergency use, including the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines.

The difference between the two vaccines is the Pfizer version needs deep-cold storage and the Moderna does not.

She says that if you are able to get either vaccine, you should. You don't have to wait for your doctor to tell you what to get, just grab whatever is available to you.

She said while the Johnson & Johnson vaccine is still in the process of getting their emergency us approval, news on that vaccine is promising, too.

Dr. Powers admits that the shortage of vaccine availability is frustrating for everyone. Hospitals are trying to prioritize those that are higher risk, especially the elderly and those with health conditions. She says age really has been the biggest risk factor since the start of the pandemic. A person at the age of 65 is equivalent to someone who's had a heart transplant and is on immune suppressant drugs.

She's personally lost 10 of her patients who were all over the age of 70.

Dr. Powers says she encourages people to NOT call their doctor's offices. A lot of the offices are contacting their patients and disseminating information when it becomes available.

As more and more vaccine becomes available, they will vaccinate as many people as they can.

There has been talk and coordination regarding a mass-vaccination site but this will all depend on when we can get a steady supply of the vaccine to distribute.

The other thing we talked with Dr. Powers about is the coronavirus mutations, or variants that have been emerging. The virus changes and adapts to survive. This is the same reason we get a new flu shot every year.

She says there hasn't been enough data gathered to truly know if it hinders the effectiveness of the vaccines, but since they already brag a 90 to 95% efficacy... even if a variant knocks it down to 70%, we're still better off having it!

Dr. Powers says the more people we vaccinate, the less virus there will be and we can hopefully bring this pandemic to a close.

The last little note we ended on was a reminder that even though this weekend is the Super Bowl, you should try to scale back and enjoy it with the members of your immediate household. She suggests hosting a live-stream 'watch party' with your friends so everybody can stay safe.

It's better to miss one Super Bowl with your friends than all of them!

If you'd like to learn more about Grand River Medical Group you can call one of their offices or visit their website.

Again, my thanks to Dr. Powers for her time.

Stay safe!

Chris Farber / Y105





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