The Perfect Enemy | Is the Covid-19 pandemic over? One public health expert says ‘no’
September 29, 2022
Read Time:1 Minute

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) — As people enjoyed a beautiful city night around Philadelphia, Action News posed the question: “Are you still worried about COVID-19?”

“Not super worried?” said Alan Kocher of Manayunk. “I mean I think we’ll have to see how it goes,” adding he’s ready to take more precautions if cases go up.

Dionne Freeman of West Philadelphia said she can go either way.

“It’s something we’re going to have to deal with moving forward, but I think a lot of the fear we had – so much of the unknown – has been clarified,” said Freeman.

A recent statement by President Joe Biden raised some eyebrows in the public health community after he said in a “60 Minutes” interview that while there’s still work to do, the pandemic is “over.”

“Is the pandemic over? No, the pandemic is absolutely not over,” said Perry Halkitis, dean of the School of Public Health at Rutgers University.

Halkitis says hundreds of new COVID-related deaths are reported in the U.S. each day and says the president’s recent statement sends a mixed message.

“The messaging has to be very simple right now. Everybody needs to get a booster,” said Halkitis. “You go and get a flu shot every year because there’s a different version of the flu every year. You should go get the new version of this booster because there are new versions of COVID-19.”

At Skippack Pharmacy, Action News found people getting those bivalent boosters on Tuesday evening.

“We’ve actually all had it except for one of our kids and we were vaccinated,” said Becky Magdycz of Collegeville, Pa. who got boosted along with her three daughters. “With the vaccine, we had a very mild case.”

Skippack Pharmacy is administering about 100-150 vaccines per day, but only Pfizer.

Many sites have reported a shortage in the new Moderna boosters.

“If you’re looking for a Moderna vaccine, don’t expect to get a vaccine appointment until the end of September, early October,” said Dr. Mayank Amin. “Otherwise, it’s perfectly safe and efficacious to switch over from Moderna to Pfizer.”

While counties in our area are planning fall booster clinics, nationwide, most people have not gotten a booster shot.

Just under 35% of eligible Americans have received any COVID booster after their primary series, according to the CDC.

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