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VACCINE TEAM | Q&A on effectiveness of single Moderna dose, testing for travel

Published: Apr. 6, 2021 at 5:29 PM EDT
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LEXINGTON, Ky. (WKYT) - As we continue to watch vaccines roll out across Kentucky, we are here to answer your questions on the vaccine.

After a bad reaction to my first Moderna shot, my doctor recommended that I not to get the second shot. He said it was 70% effective with one shot. If so, why wouldn’t it be just as good as the Johnson & Johnson shot?

The good news is one dose of the Moderna vaccine might be even more effective than what you doctor said.

The latest study from the Centers for Disease control actually found the Moderna vaccine was 80% effective two weeks after the first dose. After the second dose, it increased to 90%.

In clinical trials, the single-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine was 66.3% effective two weeks after it was given.

While 80% compared to 66.3% sounds better, medical experts warn it’s tough to make such a comparison.

“We already had two highly effective vaccines on the market [before the Johnson & Johnson vaccine], so people try to compare them, but you really can’t compare them. They were studied in different places at different times. And the new vaccine was studied in places where there were a lot of the new variant strains coming out,” said Dr. Melanie Swift, co-chair of Mayo Clinic’s COVID-19 Vaccine Allocation and Distribution Work Group.

Hawaii requires a COVID-19 test 72 hours before you fly to their state. We where told that CVS charges $139 for the test. Why is there a charge?

While the Families First Coronavirus Response Act ensures that COVID-19 testing is free to anyone in the U.S., it wasn’t intended for voluntary leisure travel.

While several states require negative COVID-19 test results for travel, Hawaii is one of the most stringent.

It only accepts results from a Nucleic Acid Amplification Test (NAAT) conducted by one its list of trusted testing partners. In addition, those results must be uploaded to a website before the passenger boards their flight to Hawaii or risk being forced to quarantine or return to the mainland.

In addition to CVS which offers self-pay volunteer testing and $0 out-of-pocket options for appointment registration, the list of Hawaii’s trusted travel partners also includes Walgreens in Kentucky.

If answers to your screening questions say you aren’t showing symptoms or had a suspected exposure, CVS will direct you to its voluntary paid testing option. However, Walgreens will let you book an appointment for its “no-cost drive-thru testing.”

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