ND State Health Council talks COVID-19 vaccine, contact tracing & mask mandate
ND is expected to see a vaccine for COVID-19 in December
BISMARCK, N.D.- Two vaccines for the coronavirus are completing their trials.
The Pfizer and Moderna vaccines will both be up to 94% effective. That’s compared to the flu vaccine which is around 30 -50% effective.
“We are anticipating we could have a vaccine in the state by early or mid December possibly. And likely Pfizer will be one of the first ones,” Epidemiologist Kirby Kruger said.
Pfizer will require ultra-cold handling, which could be challenging when distributing it.
“Both of the vaccines that I’ve talked about are a new type of vaccine. They’re messenger R & A vaccines. So, this is a promising technology I think. To have that kind of effectiveness is great,” Kruger said.
Vaccines will be limited at first, but the state will be giving it to the communities who are most at risk.
“Local public health is being pulled in a lot of different directions. As the vaccine becomes more available, we’ll probably see them back off from contact tracing. So, we’ll need to help out with taking over some of that load as well,” Kruger said.
Fargo and Grand Forks have teams devoted to case investigation and contact tracing.
“A mask mandate is really the last thing anyone wants to do. What it really does is make a statement about how we’ve not been accountable to ourselves as a public in knowing what the right things to do are, and not necessarily implementing them,” North Dakota Health Council’s Duane Pool said.
The council says the mask mandate is receiving mixed reviews. It’s supposed to last a month ending on December 13th.