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Manchester University pharmacy professor explains ins and outs of COVID-19 vaccine

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FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WPTA21)- A pharmacy professor at Manchester University says he knows a lot of people have questions surrounding the COVID-19 vaccine.

Dr. Trent Towne, an Associate Professor of Pharmacy Practice, says he trusts the science behind both vaccines.

"Both vaccines both the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine and the Moderna vaccine have been studied in a lot of people. About 30,000 people in each trial which is a lot more than even some drugs that come to market so that should give the public a lot of comfort," Towne said.

Towne says there aren't any major differences when it comes to the Pfizer vaccine versus the Moderna vaccine. He says Pfizer's is about 95 percent effective compared to Moderna's which is about 94.1 percent effective. Towne says that isn't too much of a difference.

"So when you go to a pharmacy or a doctor's office to get a flu vaccine you don't really say 'gosh which vaccine am I gonna get' you just say 'I want the flu vaccine'," Towne said. "In a lot of ways these two vaccines are so similar we should really think about them in a similar way."

Right now healthcare workers are some of the first people to receive the vaccine. Towne says once the vaccine is ready to be pushed out to the public it will be distributed mostly by retail pharmacies like CVS and Walgreen's.

"It's basically like giving ourselves this playbook to produce a piece of the virus and once our cells produce a piece of the virus then our own bodies immune system can act against it and create antibodies against it," Towne said.

You would receive two shots for both vaccines. You would go back in either three or four weeks later to get the second shot. Towne says after you get vaccinated it's important to make sure you're still following guidelines.

"I can't wait till the time I take my mask off and I can go to work or go to the grocery store and not have to wear a mask and I can see someones face and them smile but we have to keep pressing forward with that even with this vaccine coming out," Towne said.

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Arielle Cadet

Arielle Cadet joined WPTA in August 2019. The Atlanta, Georgia native graduated from the University of Missouri and serves as Weekend Anchor/MMJ for ABC21. Feel free to connect with her on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, or shoot her an email at

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