The Perfect Enemy | Dr. Ellerin: ‘It’s not to late to get the COVID-19 vaccine’
August 11, 2022

Dr. Ellerin: ‘It’s not to late to get the COVID-19 vaccine’

Dr. Ellerin: ‘It’s not to late to get the COVID-19 vaccine’  WCVB Boston

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Dr. Ellerin: ‘It’s not to late to get the COVID-19 vaccine’

54. IT WAS THE LEADING IN THAT BRACKET AND THIRD OVERALL. JESSICA: AND CATCHING COVID-19 MORE THAN ONCE APPEARS TO RAISE THE RISK OF DEVELOPING NEW HEALTH PROBLEMS. HERE TO EXPLAIN HIS CONCERNS IS DR. TODD ELLERIN, CHIEF OF INFECTIOUS DISEASES AT SOUTH SHORE HEALTH. ALWAYS GOOD TO SEE YOU. ED: RESEARCHERS HAVE REVIEWED MORE THAN 5.6 MILLION RECORDS FOR PATIENTS IN THE V.A. HEALTH SYSTEM. THE FIRST QUESTION, IS THAT A LARGE STUDY? DR. ELLERIN: IT IS. ED: SO WHAT ARE WE LEARNING FROM THE RESULTS? DR. ELLERIN: REMEMBER, THERE IS AN ADAGE THAT IF YOU GET THE WOOD MORE THAN ONCE, THE NEXT — IF YOU GET COVID MORE THAN ONCE, THE NEXT RECURRENCE IS MILD. BUT THIS STUDY CALLS THAT INTO QUESTION. IT IS A LARGE STUDY THAT LOOKED OVER 5.5 PATIENTS, MOST OF WHOM WERE IN A CONTROL GROUP. ABOUT 250,000 PATIENTS HAD COVID ONCE, AND 38,000 HAD IT TWO OR MORE TIMES. AND WHAT THEY SHOWED IS EACH TIME YOU GOT COVID THERE WAS AN INCREASED RISK OF HOSPITALIZATION AND DEATH. REMEMBER, THE ABSOLUTE RISK WAS STILL LOW SO MOST PATIENTS WITH COVID, EVEN PATIENTS WITH HIGH RISK STILL DO WELL. BUT THIS CALLED INTO QUESTION THE FACT THAT WE HAVE TO PROTECT OURSELVES. WE DO NOT JUST WANT TO SAY WE ARE GOING TO BE FINE EACH TIME. THIS IS A V.A. STUDY, SO THIS WILL BE AN OLDER PATIENT POPULATION. 90% WERE MEN. AND OF THOSE WHO DIED, MOST HAD MULTIPLE COMORBIDITIES. SO I THINK IT DOES SAY THAT EVEN PATIENTS WHO WERE VACCINATED IT DID NOT REALLY MATTER WHAT THEIR VACCINE STATUS WAS. YOU STILL HAD SIMILAR RESULTS. SO HOPEFULLY THE NEXT GENERATION OF VACCINES WE SEE IN THE WALL WILL BE EVEN UTTER. JESSICA: AND WE KNOW THAT YOU TREAT COVID PATIENTS EVERY DAY AT SOUTH SHORE. ARE YOU SEEING MORE RE-INFECTIONS? DR. ELLERIN: WE ARE DEFINITELY SEEING MORE REINFECTIONS WITH THE BA.5 AND BA.6. IN THE ERA OF OMICRON. THAT SAID, WE’RE NOT KEEPING TRACK SO MUCH OF WHICH PATIENTS HAVE GOTTEN IT IN THE HOSPITAL. IT DOES NOT CHANGE OUR MANAGEMENT. IN THE OUTPATIENT SETTING WE ARE SEEING INCREASED CASES AS WELL ALTHOUGH THE GOOD NEWS IS MOST PATIENTS WERE GETTING THIS DO NOT HAVE TO NECESSARILY CALL THEIR PRIMARY CARE PROVIDER BECAUSE MOST CASES ARE MILD. ED: THE VACCINES WE HAVE NOW, I DON’T KNOW IF THIS IS FAIR TO SAY, BUT DO THE VACCINES DO A BETTER JOB PROTECTING US AGAINST HOSPITALIZATION AND DEATH THAN THEY DO AGAINST INFECTION? AND IF SO, IS THAT PART OF THE PROBLEM? DR. ELLERIN: THE VACCINES ARE DOING AN EXCELLENT JOB AT PREDICTING — PROTECTING US AGAINST SEVERE ILLNESS AND DEATH. I KNOW YOU ARE PROBABLY SAYING, WHAT ABOUT THE V.A. STUDY? REMEMBER, BOTH CAN BE TRUE. WHAT IS IMPORTANT IS WE DO WANT TO DO A BETTER JOB AT PREVENTING INFECTION. THE VACCINES YOU INJECT INTO MUSCLE, THEY HELP US WITH ANTIBODIES IN THE BODY BUT IN THE MEMBRANES AND MOUTH YOU DO NOT NECESSARILY GET AS HIGH OF A DEGREE OF IMMUNITY. RIGHT NOW SCIENTISTS ARE WORKING ON MUCOSAL VACCINES, COVID SPRAYS THAT HOPEFULLY IN ONE DAY WITH CONJUNCTION WITH THE SPOT — SHOTS CAN DO BETTER. JESSICA: AS YOU KNOW, ABOUT 5% OF ADULTS IN MASSACHUSETTS ARE UNVACCINATED. WHAT DO WANT THEM TO KNOW ABOUT THE RISK OF GETTING COVID AGAIN AND AGAIN? DR. ELLERIN: REMEMBER, THE VACCINATION IS NOT JUST ABOUT LIFE-AND-DEATH. THERE IS LONG COVID, PATIENTS HAVE LOST THEIR SENSE OF TASTE AND SMELL FOR MONTHS, EVEN YEARS NOW. SO THE VACCINE CAN HOPEFULLY DECREASE THE RISK OF LONG COVID. BUT THERE ARE A LOT OF BENEFITS THAT ARE NOT JUST EVEN IN LIFE AND DEATH. FOR THOSE 5% OF PATIENTS I WOULD SAY GO OUT AND GET VACCINATED. WE ALSO KNOW THAT HYBRID IMMUNITY EVEN IF YOU ARE INFECTED AFTER YOU ARE VACCINATED, THE GOOD NEWS IS IT

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Dr. Ellerin: ‘It’s not to late to get the COVID-19 vaccine’

South Shore Health’s Dr. Todd Ellerin also reacts to a study that says catching COVID-19 more than once appears to raise the risk of developing new health problems.

South Shore Health’s Dr. Todd Ellerin also reacts to a study that says catching COVID-19 more than once appears to raise the risk of developing new health problems.

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