"There's going to be some difficult weeks ahead," he also warned.
The United States continues to be among the worst hit countries during the pandemic. Fortunately, people are now seeing some hope as Covid-19 vaccines are becoming available.
Health experts, however, are still reminding Americans that they are still not out of the woods – they still have to observe basic safety protocols in the foreseeable future.
New York Presbyterian emergency medicine physician Dr. Steven McDonald explained:
“We should absolutely all continue wearing masks, even after we get the vaccine. My hospital, for one, has already made that a policy that we’re going to enact. And that should be a policy throughout the United States. People who have been vaccinated can still potentially spread the virus, even if they themselves do not get sick or do not necessarily need hospitalization.”
So what about the vaccine’s promised protection, some may ask? Well, Dr McDonald explained that while the Moderna vaccine, for example, is said to be 95% effective against the virus, that only applies for patients who have successfully completed the two required shots.
“That said, it is thought that the first shot does confer some protection,” pointed out McDonald. “But that does not nearly approach the 95% efficacy that we’re speaking about and that you’re seeing in the press.”
Moreover, it should be noted that mass vaccination efforts could take a while. For Phase 1A, health workers and those in long-term care facilities are being prioritized for the vaccine. Essential workers such as teachers, law enforcers, firefighters, and others are expected to follow soon. The last part of the first phase will be for those 65 and above, plus adults with high-risk medical conditions.
As of this writing, the US has reported a total of 17,627,070 Covid-19 infections with 317,929 deaths and 10,291,126 recoveries.
“There’s still a bit of caution as we watch the rates rise across the United States,” he also added. “We watch the hospitalizations rise, and we know that the vaccine is going to take some time to be delivered to the most vulnerable patients. So I’m cautiously excited. There’s definitely a light at the end of the tunnel… But, at the same time, there’s going to be some difficult weeks ahead before we have this fully unrolled.”
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