COVID-19 may have a vaccine that is slowly making its way into the Ozarks, but that doesn’t mean the virus is going to be a short-term concern or have impact on other diseases.
Dr. Robin Trotman told OI at a Wednesday press conference that despite the arrival of a vaccine, doctors can’t definitely say what the long-term impact will be of that vaccine but that he would look at the situation in two ways.
“I would first look at it through a ten-year window of evolving coronaviruses,” Trotman said. “What virus is up next? Can this vaccine be tweaked a little bit to have it rapidly deployed and you might need boosters to adapt to the virus that evolved or shifts to a new coronavirus?”
Trotman said the other view is how the current actual virus will work within the body with the vaccine.
“I would look at two things,” Trotman said. “What’s going to happen to the recipient of the vaccine? Is their immunity going to wane and they’ll need a booster or will they need a booster because the virus will mutate or be a new virus?”
Trotman did something he normally doesn’t do in press conferences and speculated about the vaccine and potential immunity for those who take it.
“Our immunity is going to be durable if I had to guess,” Trotman said. “I think you would have less severe symptoms if you get infected next Thanksgiving by this virus. You may do better because of that pre-existing immunity.”
Trotman also said that we would see how immunity impacts other diseases in the future, and noted that prevention techniques for COVID-19 have already directly impacted other diseases in the region.
“Our coughs and colds, our hospitalizations for bronchitis, and our influenza cases are drastically decreased because of these interventions that people are doing,” Trotman said. “Our community is saving lives from diseases other than COVID. Our hospital has fewer deaths from diseases that spread from person to person.”