State health experts warn of vaccine limitations and new strains
Mike Seals - January 19, 2021 10:29 pm
OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – As more and more Oklahomans receive the COVID-19 vaccine, more is being learned about how it works and whether it is effective as COVID continues to evolve.
Regarding new strains of the virus, “We are certain that it’s here in Oklahoma. We just can’t prove it,” said Dr. Jean Hausheer, M.D.
Hausheer, the past president of the Oklahoma State Medical Association, said they are waiting for the DNA testing to come back to confirm that the highly contagious UK COVID-19 strain is in Oklahoma.
“Its south of us; it’s in Texas, confirmed. That’s why we think its probably here,” said Hausheer.
That news comes as more reports from the West Coast say that another strain has developed causing a spike in infections in Southern California. With close to 250,000 Oklahomans vaccinated, are the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines effective against these new strains?
“There has been preliminary evidence that’s very supportive that they are effective against these new strains that are highly contagious. That’s another reason to vaccinate as many Oklahomans as quickly as we can,” said Hausheer.
But doctors are quick to warn the vaccine is not a magic bullet. They say COVID 19 can still be spread from a vaccinated person to others.
“It’s to prevent you from being symptomatic. So you can be asymptomatic and spread it to someone who doesn’t have the vaccine, and then their chances of them being symptomatic is a lot higher, hence while we need to get the herd immunity,” said Dr. Chris Harris of OU Health.
Medical professionals stress even if you have gotten your second shot, its important to stay vigilant.
The CDC still recommends that you follow all COVID measures, including wearing a mask, social distancing, staying within your family bubble, said Dr. Mary Clark.
Doctors say they have heard the frustrations from their patients about getting the vaccine. They say be patient and when you get a chance to get the shots, drop everything and make it happen.