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As cases begin to drop and public health measures recede, it may feel like COVID-19 is going away. Dr. Adam Weston, an infectious disease specialist at Lowell General Hospital and a clinical leader in the hospitals’ pandemic response, says COVID-19 may be here to stay.
COVID-19 May be here to stay
Most of the data indicates it is. In what form is to be decided, but the hope is it will fade into the background. But as we know, with COVID-19 the future is always murky, and it’s unlikely that it’s going away entirely
It’s no longer one size fits all. The most recent Centers for Disease Control guidance shows it’s very individual, depending on the risk within your county and your own personal risk. If there is very little spread in your area, the benefits of masking are not as substantial. But if you are immune-compromised or have other high-risk conditions, it’s something you should consider and discuss with your physician.
There are a lot of options available right now. Monoclonal anti-bodies are available locally at our Saints Campus and at other sites across the state. A locator can be found on the mass.gov website. Then there are oral anti-virals, which are now being distributed to pharmacies and are available with a prescription or from your provider. Discuss these options with your physician.
I’m in favor of them getting it and there is science and data to back that up. We know COVID is bad in pregnancy. It has increased risk of poor outcomes for the mother and an increased risk of premature delivery of the child. Then you look at studies looking at vaccination in pregnant women and they show no increased risk. Pregnant women get vaccines all the time. I strongly believe the benefits outweigh any risks. If you’re thinking about getting pregnant, it’s an even better time to get it before you have to worry about vaccination in pregnancy. There is no evidence the COVID vaccines have any effect on fertility.
Omicron showed us the power of vaccination. Yes, we are seeing some breakthrough cases, but the vaccine is doing its job. The vaccine is still very effective at preventing severe disease requiring hospitalization. The vast majority of severe COVID disease and deaths are in unvaccinated people
The best way is to try to understand what their concerns are. If you come at them aggressively, they will just dig in harder. Maybe they aren’t getting information from the best source. People get spooked over a report of a side effect, and what gets lost in shuffle is the massive benefit we’re seeing.