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Vaccine Expert Says There Isn't A 'Better' COVID-19 Immunization; Suggests Taking 1st Option

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Dr. Peter J. Hotez M.D. and Ph.D

Dr. Peter Hotez expects two COVID-19 vaccines to be approved before the end of the year, and possibly a half dozen by this time next year. He says he has no preference among the early offerings and will get the first one that's made available to him.

The Food and Drug Administration may approve two COVID-19 vaccines by the end of the year. To some, that seems fast, and it makes them wonder if it’s safe. On this week's Petrie Dish, we talk to vaccine expert Dr. Peter Hotez, co-director of the Center for Vaccine Development at Texas Children's Hospital and the dean of the School of Tropical Medicine at Baylor College of Medicine.

Dr. Hotez explained what an mRNA vaccine is, why they have to be stored at such cold temperatures and who should be in the front of the line to get one.

Hotez also told us why he thinks Latinos, particularly in Texas, should be near the front of the line for a vaccine, as that population is being hit much harder and at younger ages than many other ethnic groups. Hotez said the pandemic has been devastating to that community.

“What's happening is this is robbing the Hispanic community of a generation of mothers and fathers and brothers and sisters. And it's just decimating,” Hotez said.

Hotez is also relieved that this coronavirus turned out to be a "soft target" for vaccine researchers, saying years of work on a vaccine against the first SARS virus made it possible to develop a vaccine against this virus in a short period of time. He added that he doesn't have a favorite among the vaccines that are in the pipeline. He'll take the first one that is available to him.

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