PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Jefferson Health’s Dr. Rob Danoff sat down virtually with CBS3’s Janelle Burrell about the latest surge of COVID-19, mostly caused by the Delta variant. Below is a transcript of the interview.
Janelle Burrell: “A lot of people ask me, ‘If I’ve been vaccinated, why do I still have to wear a mask?’”READ MORE: EXCLUSIVE VIDEO: Center City Hit-And-Run Leaves Woman In Critical Condition, Police Say
Dr. Rob Danoff: It’s a great question but the reason being is the Delta variant is very contagious. For every one person who has the infection, they can spread it to six others. Fortunately, the vaccines have done a good job of preventing us from getting sick or having a lot of symptoms. They’re really good at that, but you can still get the disease. It might be a small cold, a headache, sore throat and you can potentially spread it to others. So if a person who’s vaccinated keeps getting exposed to people without the vaccine and with Delta, they can get it. So that’s why you want to provide extra protection. Not only for the person but for them to protect others.
JB: “There’s been a lot of debate over whether students and staff should have to wear masks when returning to school. But around the country, there’s been a sharp increase in the number of children in the hospital – sick with the delta variant.”
RD: That’s a really good point. The other reason to get the vaccine is to protect the kids. So the kids 12 and under are still not approved for them. We’re expecting emergency use approval for 5 and 11-year-olds sometime in October but it’s still a way off. And when the kids go back to school, it’s probably a good idea to mask-up, teachers, anyone who works in the school to decrease the risk of the spread. Look, it’s a minor inconvenience to prevent a major problem, so it’s a good idea to mask up.READ MORE: 'This Is What We Do In A Small Town': Mullica Hill Residents Continue Recovery Efforts Weeks After Tornado
JB: There have been questions about whether people will eventually need a booster shot. What can you tell us about that? What do people need to know?
RD: An important question. They’re looking at that a lot. People with an immune disease on certain medications to decrease their immune response if they have cancer or certain types of arthritis, an autoimmune disease. They might not have a good response to the COVID vaccines. They’re the first group of people most likely to get the booster shot. Now, the booster shots have shown in some early studies that they really have added protection against the Delta variant, so stay tuned over the next month or so, possibly two that the booster will be for certain groups of people who may not have a good response because of their medical conditions.
JB: When do we expect the FDA to give full approval for the vaccines? And when that occurs do you think more people will be open to getting the vaccine?MORE NEWS: New Jersey Man Credits Keeping Mind Active As He Celebrates 105th Birthday
RD: We expect that within the next two months. They’re working as fast as they can but I think it’s really important — what we’re going to see is, once this gets full approval from the FDA, expect more places like workplaces and schools to require the vaccine. We have shown millions and millions of doses that this is a very safe and effective vaccine. The FDA is working very quickly, so hopefully in the next month or two.