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Local physician talks about the process of making a vaccine

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(KTIV) -- As cases of COVID-19 continue to rise across the United States, at least two potential vaccines for the virus are being researched.

"This coronavirus vaccine has come out quicker than any other vaccine in the history of vaccines," said David Ensz, Family Physician.

While it normally takes years to develop a vaccine, Dr. David Ensz, a family physician at MercyOne South Sioux City Family Medicine, said the COVID vaccine has been developed at a very fast rate.

He said, in spite of the quickness of its development, there is still a lot that goes into the making and testing of the vaccine.

"The first phase, it's looking for just purely safety data. Is it safe? You know, this may take normally one to two years to do. We're doing this very quickly. But fortunately the vaccines we've had out appear very safe," said Ensz.

Dr. Ensz said there are people continually checking and double checking the vaccine, during the process of getting it ready for the public.

"Constantly looking at this data. The statisticians will take a look at the data and say okay with all these people, is this considered statistically safe? So, just a constant stream of looking at data day and night that's coming in," said Ensz.

And he said, while they still don't know when a viable vaccine will be ready for the general public, they still have a lot to learn in general.

"This could very well be like an influenza vaccine where we get a pretty good idea of what strains are coming. We put the four most common strains that we think are going to affect the United States," said Ensz.

Ensz emphasizes, front line workers, like those in health care, will be the first to get the vaccine once it is fully ready.

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Emily Schrad

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