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Experts, Politicians Confident In COVID-19 Vaccines

U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand of New York
Jacquelyn Martin
U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand of New York says she expects to get vaccinated in the spring.

Health officials in Connecticut want to build confidence in the COVID-19 vaccine with the first batch set to arrive in the state in the coming days.

Dr. Saad Omer, director of the Yale Institute for Global Health, wants to help educate people who are hesitant to receive the shots. There will be two doses per person, at least three weeks apart.

"I would say that based in the middle of a raging outbreak, take both of those vaccines. It’s extremely important to take both of those vaccines," Dr. Omer said.

Omer spoke alongside State Senator Dr. Saud Anwar, a practicing physician, to answer questions online. They said they are confident in the Pfizer and Moderna trials and vaccine effectiveness, and in the eventual FDA emergency authorization.

Omer says that even with the vaccine, people will still need to wear masks until at least 70 of the population are vaccinated. 

In New York, U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand said she plans to receive the COVID-19 vaccine as soon as possible.

Gillibrand said emergency authorization from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration is enough for her to roll up her sleeve for the shot. New York Governor Andrew Cuomo has said any vaccine that gets FDA approval will then be reviewed by a New York-based panel of public health experts. The state’s distribution plan calls for high-risk health care workers to get vaccinated first.

“I'm sure I will not be among the first because I'm not as critical as a doctor or a nurse, or frontline workers. So I will go after them. And certainly I would go after a lot of seniors and vulnerable populations that need those vaccines first," Gillibrand said.

Gillibrand said she hopes to receive her vaccination in the spring.

Desiree reports on the lives of military service members, veterans, and their families for WSHU as part of the American Homefront project. Born and raised in Connecticut, she now calls Long Island home.