DETROIT – Since the coronavirus pandemic began, Dr. Frank McGeorge has been keeping viewers up-to-date and informed on all fronts. He’s been answering your questions about the vaccine, the vaccination process and more.
Is it safe for my soon-to-be 13-year-old son to be vaccinated before the start of school?
Yes. It is safe. You should get the vaccine as soon as possible because it takes five weeks from the first shot to be considered fully vaccinated.
What can you tell me about a new, more virulent strain of coronavirus spreading rapidly in Vietnam?
Your question highlights the point that we are a global community. The dominant strain that is driving cases in Vietnam is the delta variant. Their situation is especially dire because of a lack of vaccine availability. While there are other variant popping up in other parts of the world, the delta variant remains the largest current threat.
If people that get the shot and months later get COVID, why would others get the shot that haven’t gotten it if it does not prevent?
The important thing to recognize is that getting vaccinated strongly reduces your chance of getting infected at all. And if you are in that unlucky minority, your illness is far more likely to be mild. That’s the most critical benefit of the vaccines.
I keep hearing about breakthrough infections. Is it possible that we don’t have enough data to truly know if they are more common than we think?
That is completely possible. Asymptomatic cases and those that don’t require treatment or hospitalization aren’t being tracked and counted with any regularity. The main reason is that we are most interested in counting and tracking the more severe cases. The bottom line is that you are correct, published breakthrough numbers are most likely an underestimate.
I am 67 years old and fully vaccinated. I have a train ticket to visit my daughter and her family in Dallas, Texas in mid-October. They are also vaccinated. Is it safe to make that trip?
This question gets to risk tolerance and the changing landscape of COVID in the United States. Given that everyone is vaccinated, that’s an important layer of safety. Your age puts you at a higher risk if you were to acquire a breakthrough infection and Texas is currently a national hotspot. To maximize safety I would strongly encourage you to keep up distancing and mask use.