Updated: March 31, 2021 10:27 PM
Created: March 31, 2021 08:58 PM
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — The results of a new CDC real-world study reveals more good news for people who have received the Pfizer of Moderna vaccine. This comes just as the state health department announced that vaccinations will be available to all New Mexicans 16 years and older starting April 5.
Dr. Jason Mitchell, chief medical officer at Presbyterian, said the new data reveals that people who are fully vaccinated with the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine are unlikely to get or transmit COVID.
“That's one of the things we're concerned about is, you know, could someone be a silent carrier,” said Dr. Jason Mitchell. “Right now this data suggestion is that no, most likely if you've had both vaccines, one or the other vaccine had both of them, and it's been two weeks—you really are no longer a risk to the community.”
However, Dr. Mitchell said that doesn't mean people should stop wearing masks or following COVID-safe practices once they're fully vaccinated. That's because there are still COVID variants, and herd immunity hasn't been reached.
“I am cautiously optimistic because the pandemic is not over. We do not have herd immunity yet. And so although the numbers here in New Mexico has plateaued off, we're seeing other places in the nation where they're going back up and our behaviors still impact this pandemic, and we could easily drag it back into a very bad spot, even with the vaccine, because we don't have everyone vaccinated,” explained Dr. Mitchell.
There’s also more information from Pfizer about their shot, and its impact on children aged 12 to 15.
According to Pfizer, out of more than 2,200 children in that age group, all 18 people who contracted COVID were in the placebo group. In other words, none of the kids who received the COVID vaccine were infected with the virus.
“This is not peer reviewed yet,” reminded Dr. Mitchell. “This has not gone to the FDA yet for emergency use authorization. So although this is wonderful news, we've got to finish the scientific process.”
Health care experts said as long as we do what we’re supposed to do, things will slowly get better—but it’s going to take all of us to get there.
“The way you stop variants in a pandemic is by stopping the spread of the virus because that's how it mutates and gets the variants, and so the quicker we all get vaccinated, the less likely we already have some variants that can take us back in the wrong direction,” Dr. Mitchell said.
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