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70% of Hoosiers must develop antibodies from COVID vaccines to be effective: epidemiologist

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FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WPTA21) -- Just how safe are the coronavirus vaccines that the FDA is expected to approve in the next week or so, and how many Hoosiers would need to get the shots to help end the pandemic?

"I want to assure people that none of the steps were skipped or really even rushed to get this vaccine to where it's at currently today," IUPUI's Director of Epidemiology Education Thomas Duszynski said.

He says the coronavirus vaccines are safe to get.

"These vaccine manufacturers have been making vaccines for the public for many, many, many years. And they have to get it right," he added.

The coronavirus vaccines are made differently than flu vaccines.

A flu vaccine is made with proteins from the flu virus, but it's not enough to give you the flu.

The coronavirus vaccines are made differently.

"What this does is that it basically creates a little engine that allows you to produce antibodies without giving you part of the virus itself," he said.

He says we need to vaccinate enough people so that 70% of Hoosiers will develop antibodies to the disease in order to achieve what health leaders call "herd immunity."

That means enough of the population can surround and protect people who can't be vaccinated so the virus can't get to them.

Corinne Rose

Corinne Rose is a reporter for WPTA.

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