CHI Health provides update on coronavirus pandemic

Importance of keeping up spread-mitigation efforts
Posted at 2:01 PM, Feb 17, 2021
and last updated 2021-02-17 15:57:07-05

OMAHA, Neb. (KMTV) — Infectious disease physicians with CHI Health-Creighton University discussed the coronavirus pandemic and vaccines on Wednesday.

Dr. Renuga Vivekanandan said it’s still important to wear a mask even after you have received both doses of the coronavirus vaccine. She said you could be okay but could still transmit the virus to someone else.

She said 80% of the population needs to be vaccinated to achieve herd immunity.

Vivekanandan warned about family gatherings, saying you could be carrier if you’re not vaccinated. Dr. David Quimby said if people are too quick to do gatherings, it could delay the time until it is safe to do them again.

Vivekanandan said the state is doing a good job at vaccinating the elderly but there’s still a long ways to go in getting everyone vaccinated. About 400,000 vaccine doses have been allocated to Nebraska, and some teachers could be getting vaccinated soon. The state is still in Phase 1B.

Vivekanandan has been vaccinated and she said she has less fear about serious infection as a result. She still wears a mask and practices good hand hygiene.

Quimby received the vaccination last summer as part of the study. He said his behavior hasn’t changed. He’s not going to restaurants, has no plans to travel, and continues to wear PPE.

Quimby said it’s too soon to say how long the vaccine will be good for, citing not enough data yet, and didn’t rule out needing booster shots down the road. He said the vaccine is safe.

Vivekanandan said hospitalizations are down, but another surge is possible given the new coronavirus variants. She said it’s best not to travel but do things right if you have to such as wearing a mask and practicing social distancing.

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