COVID-19 vaccines have similarities, differences to other immunizations

Dec 9, 2020, 7:14 AM | Updated: 8:16 am
Thanksgiving surge...
Local doctors say COVID-19 vaccines may utilize some new technologies, but overall, they're looking to achieve the same end goal of any other immunization. (IMAGE: KSL Newsradio)
(IMAGE: KSL Newsradio)

MURRAY, Utah — With COVID-19 vaccination plans already being rolled-out in many parts of the world, doctors are trying to better educate the public on how the various immunizations work.

COVID-19 vaccines similar to other immunizations

A recent review from the FDA has confirmed the safety and efficacy of the Pfizer coronavirus vaccine, although plenty of Americans remain hesitant; possibly uneasy with how quickly things have progressed. 

Doctor Bill Cosgrove, a retired pediatrician based in Murray, says while some of the COVID-19 vaccination technology may be new, the end goal is no different from any other vaccine

“It speeds things up and gets you to where you usually are by day 5 of the illness, without having to have the illness,” he explains. “So, as soon as the virus enters your body, you are ready to counter-attack [and] ready to defend yourself.”

In other words, the vaccine acts less like a shield and more like an encyclopedia for your immune system.

“It doesn’t keep you from getting infected, it doesn’t keep the virus from entering your body,” he says. “It sets up the timeframe that your body’s immune system is ready to fight it off as soon as it enters.”

‘The Vaccines: Hope on the Horizon.’

And for those concerned about the unintended consequences if the vaccine were to linger, Doctor Cosgrove says that’s misguided since it’s not intended to stay in our systems for very long.

“The vaccine itself only stays in our body for a week or ten days,” he says.

Everyone getting vaccinated will require two doses, but beyond that, medical experts are saying it won’t require yearly updates, like for example, influenza does.

“Most vaccines give you long-term immunity. Ten years probably with this vaccine,” he explains. “That’s unknown yet, but it’s likely to give fairly long-term immunity.”

The big difference, according to Doctor Cosgrove, is the influenza virus rapidly mutates over the course of one year, while the COVID-19 virus appears to mutate much slower.


Today’s Top Stories


FILE - This undated photo provided by Merck & Co. shows their new antiviral medication molnupir...
MATTHEW PERRONE, Associated Press Health Writer

US adds second COVID-19 pill, this time from Merck

U.S. health regulators on Thursday authorized the second pill against COVID-19, providing another easy-to-use medication to battle the rising tide of omicron infections.
6 months ago
new COVID pills...
MATTHEW PERRONE Associated Press

Pfizer pill becomes 1st US-authorized home COVID treatment

U.S. health regulators authorized the first pill against COVID-19, a Pfizer drug that Americans will be able to take at home to head off the worst effects of the virus.
6 months ago
covid pill...
Curt Gresseth

Utah doctor weighs in on new COVID-19 pill you can take at home

A University of Utah doctor specializing in infectious diseases weighs the pros and cons on a new pill taken at home to treat coronavirus.
7 months ago
covid utah...
Paul Nelson

As omicron variant spreads, Utahns urged to get vaccine booster shots

With the spread of the omicron variant, Utahns are being urged to get a COVID-19 vaccine booster shot
7 months ago
COVID vaccination rates...
Heather Kelly

Utah is below the national average for COVID vaccination rates, here’s why

Utah is below the national average for COVID vaccination rates. High numbers of children in Utah are likely skewing the data. Officials encourage vaccination.
7 months ago
utah covid children...
Paul Nelson

Researchers believe ‘omicron’ variant will be in Utah, sooner or later

The Omicron variant doesn't have officials saying we should cancel Christmas plans, but masks and social distancing are still recommended.
7 months ago

Sponsored Articles

Tax Harassment...
Jordan Wilcox

The best strategies for dealing with IRS tax harassment | You have options!

Learn how to deal with IRS tax harassment. This guide will teach you how to stop IRS phone calls and letters, and how to handle an IRS audit.
spend a day at Bear Lake...
Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

You’ll love spending the day at Bear Lake | How to spend a day at Bear Lake

Bear Lake is a place that needs to be experienced. Spend a day at Bear Lake.
Curb Appeal...
Price's Guaranteed Doors

How to have the best of both worlds for your house | Home security and curb appeal

Protect your home and improve its curb appeal with the latest security solutions like beautiful garage doors and increased security systems.
Prescription opioids can be disposed of during National Prescription Take Back Day...
Know Your Script

Prescription opioid misuse | How to protect your family from the opioid epidemic

Studies have shown that prescription opioid misuse has increased since COVID-19. So what do you need to know about these opioids?
national heart month...
Intermountain Healthcare

National Heart Month: 5 Lifestyle Changes to Make Today to Keep You Heart Healthy

Heart disease is the leading cause of death for both men and women. One person dies every 36 seconds in the United States from cardiovascular disease
Joseph Smith Memorial Building...
Temple Square

The Joseph Smith Memorial Building is an icon of Salt Lake City | Why hosting an event at this beautiful location will make you a hero this year

Here's why hosting an event at the iconic Joseph Smith Memorial Building in downtown Salt Lake City will make you a hero this year.
COVID-19 vaccines have similarities, differences to other immunizations