ALLEN, Texas (CBSDFW.COM) – When Allen Fire Chief Jonathan Boyd realized Moderna was doing trials for its coronavirus vaccine in the Dallas area, he said he reached out, and the following week, he was accepted.

On Monday, Nov. 16, he said he’s pleased by how effective the company’s vaccine is in early results so far.

“I’m very excited about the news. This is well above my expectations, I think I would have been happy if it made 60% effective rate, so to see 94.5%, that’s very exciting. It’s very good news,” said Chief Boyd.

On a conference call Monday morning, Assistant Secretary for Health at U.S. Health and Human Services, Admiral Brett Giroir said like Pfizer’s announcement last week, Moderna’s vaccine shows a lot of promise.

“We’re also extremely excited by the new Moderna results announced this morning showing 94.5% effectiveness as well as protection against severe Covid illness. Moderna uses a similar vaccine platform to Pfizer, so we were hopeful for this to occur,” said Admiral Giroir.

Pfizer announced one week ago that its vaccine was more than 90% effective so far.

Admiral Giroir said that if Pfizer receives its Emergency Use Authorization by the FDA, it could protect up to 20 million people this year alone.

He said if Moderna also receives an EUA, “the number of Americans who can be vaccinated this year will go up dramatically.”

Dr. Joseph Chang, Chief Medical Officer at Parkland Health System agreed the announcement is a “very exciting development.”

But he said there are still many questions, including: “We actually don’t know how long the effects of the vaccine, even if it’s effective, will last. Does it last six months like the flu vaccine? Does it last a lifetime like the shingles vaccine? We don’t know,” said Dr. Chang.

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Chief Boyd said he experienced some very minor side effects after having the vaccine trial, and were similar to those after having a flu shot or a shingles vaccine.

The minor side effects he said include a sore arm and a low grade fever.

Chief Boyd said he’s not sure whether he was given the vaccine or the placebo, but will find out soon. “The fact that I did have some minor side effects, it gives me hope that maybe I did get the vaccine, and now that the efficacy is so high, I really hope that I got the vaccine.”

Even so, he said he continues to take all of the precautions so that he doesn’t get the virus.

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