Doctor says virus has 99-percent survival rate

Many still have questions concerning the available vaccines for COVID-19. ARH Healthcare recently held a virtual townhall meeting to inform the public about the vaccines and to dispel some common misconceptions concerning the product.

Dr. Maria Braman, Dr. Faras Khater and Dr. Jeffrey Akers made up the panel, moderated by Heather East of ARH Healthcare.

Khater addressed the approximately 99 percent survival rate of the virus.

“If you live in a community of 50,000 people, that’s 500 deaths,” Khater said. “That’s a lot of deaths. That’s people that you know, your friends, neighbors and coworkers…500 deaths from 50,000 is significant.”

Khater pointed out the potential for serious side effects following infection is a factor and can lead to long-term health problem.

“We are seeing patients that keep coming back to us, and they are never the same after the initial infection,” Khater said.

Akers addressed the common misconception that an individual must wait 90 days to be vaccinated after becoming ill with COVID-19.

“That’s definitely a fiction,” Akers said. “The fact is…even folks who’ve been diagnosed and had acute illness with COVID, they’re not guaranteed the level of immunity of someone who’s been vaccinated.”

Akers added there is evidence showing vaccination gives a greater level of immunity.

“The recommendation is if you’ve had COVID, once you’re past the acute phase of your illness and you’re not having symptoms anymore, then you become eligible for vaccination,” Akers said. “What we have seen is folks who get the vaccine after having COVID is they get a little bit more intense immune response and a little bit more side effects, and to be quite honest, that’s a good thing because it’s your body gearing up…to fight off any kind of reinfection…again, even if you’ve had COVID getting vaccinated is very important.”

Braman added those who have received the antibody treatment are required to wait 90 days before receiving the vaccine.

Akers explained who is not to take the vaccines.

“There are only two groups of individuals that it is recommended for them to not receive the vaccine,” Akers said. “That’s if they’ve had any allergic response to COVID vaccines. So, if they’ve taken the first dose and they’ve had an anaphylactic type of reaction, they should not receive the second dose. The second group is if they’ve had any severe allergic reaction to any component of a COVID vaccine.”

More information can be found at the ARH Healthcare Facebook page.