Ophthalmologists develop over-the-counter solution to help fight spread of COVID-19

TULSA, Okla. — Healthcare professionals are the first to get the COVID-19 vaccine in Oklahoma, but they’re also telling the public this doesn’t mean their fight is over.

The Pfizer vaccine arrived in Oklahoma this week, and Moderna looks to be next, but the general public isn’t expected to get the vaccine until mid-2021 at the earliest.

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Ophthalmologist Dr. Jessie Pelletier says there’s still a lot that experts are learning about the vaccines; How serious might reactions be? How will mass distribution go? How will the costs be covered? How long will immunity last?

Pelletier says it’s important to continue wearing masks, washing hands and practicing social distancing.

He and his colleagues recently developed an over-the-counter product to fight the spread of the coronavirus using a povidone iodine-based antiseptic solution.

Halodine nasal swabs, oral rinse, oral spray and nasal liquid are made with the same solution Pelletier says they’ve used for years to fight infection during patients’ eye procedures. He says it’s what’s working with NFL and college football.

The products are best used at any time the user would put on or take off a mask.

The group has made donations to school districts and are working with other countries like Ghana to help them safely hold elections during the pandemic.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration designates Halodine as safe and effective, and it’s fully registered as an over-the-counter product.

Pelletier says it will soon be found on store shelves, but anyone interested in learning more or buying it can find it here.

Find COVID-19 treatment information from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention here.