WATCH: A pharmacist explains difference between antiviral oral vaccine compared to a shot

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LANSING, Mich. (WLNS)—- As the world continues to battle the COVID-19 pandemic our first-responders continue to work together to administer mass amounts of vaccines. However, this week Pfizer-BioNTech announced they would start trials of an anti-viral oral vaccine to fight COVID-19.

The company stated in a press release that phase one of the studies would be tested on healthy American adults. Pfizer-BioNTech is also testing an intravenous antiviral to treat COVID-19.

“Given the way that SARS-CoV-2 is mutating and the continued global impact of COVID-19, Mikael Dolsten, MD, PhD., Chief Scientific Officer and President, Worldwide Research, Development and Medical of Pfizer, in a statement. “It appears likely that it will be critical to have access to therapeutic options both now and beyond the pandemic.”

WLNS Digital Reporter Samana Sheikh spoke with a local Pharmacist, Dr. Eddie Hossam regarding the major difference between an anti-viral oral vaccine in comparison to a regular shot that is being administered across the country.

“We’ve had luck with oral vaccines, we had with typhoid, we had with polio… which is one of the most common ones,” Dr. Eddie Hossam stated.

Dr. Hossam said he’s excited about the trial-runs and hopes they are a major success in the future. He says as a first-responder once he opens a vial they need to administer it immediately, or else the dose could become ineffective and go to waste.

“Once we open that vial..we have to schedule either 10, 15, or 5 patients at a time,” Dr. Hossam said, “so, we’re not wasting that vial, and if we have one cancellation then that one dose goes to waste.”

Dr. Hossam said an antiviral oral vaccine is administered in pill form. He suggests, in the long-term this could become an easier and more productive way for him personally to administer a vaccine. Dr. Hossam says pills have a longer shelf-life, people who are uncomfortable with shots can opt for an antiviral oral vaccine, and people too scared to get vaccinated in-person can take the antiviral oral vaccine from the comfort of their very own homes.

Dr. Hossam said in the near future if the antiviral oral vaccine becomes a possible option he can set-up video calls for his patients. He said through the call he could guide patients on how to take it by mouth, and other various required instructions.

” If the studies suggest we get the same immune response from the tablet versus the other vaccine,” Dr. Hossam said, ” I would suggest oral, it’s easier, much more convenient for my patients, and I don’t have to work about injection side-effects… so a lot of the problems we’re facing right now with the vaccines would be resolved.”

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