At this point, we’ve all heard a lot about COVID-19, and yet despite all of the public health messaging about the efficacy of vaccines and the importance of masking and physical distancing when someone has a confirmed case of the coronavirus, there are still a lot of people in Michigan and around the country who have chosen to forgo the vaccine for reasons not supported by science or any real evidence. For this reason, two local infectious disease experts join Stephen Henderson to dispel some of the myths and misinformation swirling around.
Listen: Infectious disease experts talk best masking practices, vaccine safety and clear up persisting COVID-19 myths.
Dr. John Mills is an infectious disease specialist who practices at the Infectious Disease Clinic at the University of Michigan’s Taubman Center. In addressing one popular misperception: ”I already got COVID so I don’t need the vaccine,” Mills urges people to “think about immunity as your body being able to remember the virus … we do know that prior infection results in some transient immunity but it’s unclear how long that lasts and how strong it is.”
On the role of religion in the public health aspect of the pandemic, Mills says ”it’s hard to generalize, but I think some religious groups are more resistant to vaccines and masking and I think it’s on the scientific community to reach out to those groups.”
Dr. Natasha Bagdasarian is an infectious disease specialist based in Ann Arbor. One myth Bagdasarian says she hears a lot is ”I eat healthy, work out and take immune-boosting supplements so I don’t need the vaccine.” This is far from true, explains Bagdasarian who explains that “it’s fantastic that people are healthy … but vaccines give a set of detailed blueprints to the immune system so your immune system isn’t caught off guard.”
As far as masking protocols, Bagdasarian says filtration are fit are key. “Filtration is how many particles go through that mask and then fit — how tight is it on your face? Medical and cloth masks can have gaps. The simplest thing to do is to make sure that the fit is really good — no leaks!”