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Why you still need to be cautious despite COVID-19 vaccine

Posted at 10:07 PM, Dec 15, 2020
and last updated 2020-12-15 23:28:29-05

TULSA, Okla. — While help is now on the way with the COVID-19 vaccine, doctors are reminding everyone to still be careful about spreading it or getting it.

It could still be months before the general public can get the coronavirus vaccine

“The fact is, given the shortage of vaccine and the distribution plan, most folks will be waiting some period of time anyway," said Dr. David Kendrick, CEO of MyHealth Access Network.

Even though some are starting to receive the vaccine, doctors are emphasizing the need to still be careful. Especially as the latest White House coronavirus task force report said Oklahoma has the third-highest rate of hospitalizations. Health care workers are asking citizens to take precautions to help ease the burden on hospitals.

“We need to try to keep mitigating this issue," said Dr. Jason Benn, emergency medicine specialist at Integris SW Medical Center. "And we need to wash our hands, watch our distance, wear a mask, things that keep people out of the ER will obviously help your health care workers and us on the front lines.”

Dr. George Monks, president of the Oklahoma State Medical Association, said it will take a few weeks after the first dose for the vaccine to begin taking effect. And then at that point, it’s only 51 percent effective, which is why it’s important to get the second dose when it becomes 95 percent effective.

"There’s still a chance you could get COVID-19, even though you may have a mild case of it," Monks said. "It’s still possible you could spread it to someone else. It’s not 100 percent. It’s not a silver bullet.”

Dr. Monks is warning people to be especially cautious as the holidays begin.

“Think about your group or the group that you may be visiting to see if one of those members may be in one of those high-risk groups if they’re over the age of 65, have a heart or a lung condition, diabetes," Monks said. "This may be a year that you just celebrate virtually with them.”

Doctors also suggest getting the flu shot, shopping online and if you do see family, wear a mask and have extra for others.

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