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Prevea, HSHS workers getting second dose of COVID vaccine

HSHS St. Vincent Hospital ICU nurse Kayla Kennedy gets her second COVID-19 vaccine dose.
HSHS St. Vincent Hospital ICU nurse Kayla Kennedy gets her second COVID-19 vaccine dose.(Prevea Health)
Published: Jan. 6, 2021 at 11:07 AM CST
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GREEN BAY, Wis. (WBAY) - Prevea Health on Wednesday started administering second doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine to health care workers.

The Pfizer vaccine requires 21 days between doses. The second dose is required for the vaccine to be most effective. With two doses, the vaccine has shown to be 94 percent effective.

“From the moment these vaccines first became available to us by the Wisconsin Department of Health Services just 21 days ago, our teams have been working swiftly, yet carefully to effectively immunize every health care worker within the Prevea Health and HSHS Wisconsin systems that wishes to be vaccinated,” said Dr. Ashok Rai, President and CEO at Prevea Health. “We are immensely proud of the work our teams have done so far to get our health care workers and community EMS teams vaccinated. We continue to eagerly await the opportunity to offer these life-saving vaccines to our community members and put an end to this pandemic.”

Workers at additional HSHS hospitals in Wisconsin and Prevea Health locations will get their second dose in the coming days and weeks.

Dr. Rai joins us Tuesdays and Thursdays on Action 2 News This Morning to answer questions and give updates on COVID-19 in Wisconsin. Have a question? Email news@wbay.com

Previous Dr. Rai segments: https://www.wbay.com/health/drrai/

Dr. Rai told us how the vaccine works:

“Messenger RNA. What it is is it’s a little piece of genetic code. It’s not a piece of COVID-19. It’s not a piece of the virus. It’s a piece of genetic code that when it enters your body, it goes into your muscle cells, where the injection site is, and it tells those cells, it enters that cell, and it tells the DNA within that cell to create a protein. That protein is really similar to what’s on COVID-19 called a spike protein. That’s how COVID-19 infects you. So you’re not going to get COVID-19. You’re not being given COVID-19. But your body will produce a protein that it can react to. So your immune system will then react to that protein and create an immune response to that. And it will remember that immune response. That’s why we do a second dose a month later, to even get a bigger immune response, because the first one’s just not good enough. You get two of those. Your body’s built up an immune response. After it’s done with that mRNA, your body destroys that so it’s not going to stick around and keep making it. That’s why you need the two doses. And then you’ve got this memory. Hopefully it’s a year. Hopefully it’s much longer than a year. That you will, when you’re actually exposed to COVID-19, it will enter your body and your body will say, ‘Not today. You’re not coming in here today. You’re not going to replicate. We have an immune defense system against you.’ So you will not get COVID-19. And if you do get it, it won’t be a serious infection.”

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