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Dr. Aw Video Transcripts

Do we still need to worry about variants of concern

Hi Dr. Aw my question is, do we still need to worry about variants of concern?

Dr Aw: Well, the good news about these variants of concern now they've renamed them based on the Greek alphabet, the alpha, the beta, the gamma the Delta, the Delta variant is what's on everybody's mind right now, that is the B 161 7.2, that came out of India, which is much more transmissible than the b1 170 Alpha variant from the UK, which is a predominant strain right now, and may or may not be a bit more severe in terms of, of infection. In terms of symptoms. The good news is that all of the vaccines, as long as you get both doses have a protection against these variants. The mRNA vaccines do tend to have higher protection, some of these new vaccines coming out just today. I saw a report for Nova vaccine that has over 90% protection against these variants of concern. So the issue really is it's a race of getting these two shots into the arms of people in these different communities so we can get ahead of these variants. So don't give them time to transmit. So we do still need to worry about these different variants. The key to getting out of this situation is to get as many people vaccinated with the two shots. And after two weeks of going into shots, you're going to start to get more effective protection against these variants of concern and then start getting more people in the general population that are protected so we can get together.

Is it safe to mix vaccines?

Hi, Dr. Aw, I'm wondering if it's safe to mix vaccines?

Dr. Aw: Yes, it is safe to mix vaccines, traditionally, what we like to do is stick with the same vaccine. So if you had the AstraZeneca continue with the AstraZeneca. If you had the Pfizer, Moderna continue with the Pfizer, Moderna. However, the most important thing right now is to get both shots. So if you get two shots, the sooner the better. Whatever vaccine you can get the two shots however, lots of studies are looking at now because of some of the concerns about the potential safety issues with the clotting with the AstraZeneca is it's very
safe to take the Pfizer and the Moderna, there are a couple of huge studies happening out of the UK and in Spain right now looking at the safety of mixing and matching these different vaccines. The only thing that's coming out that was when you mix the AstraZeneca with the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine, actually it was the Pfizer vaccine. At four weeks, there was an
increase of side effects, some called reactogenicity. So increase side effects, nothing serious. But you know, something like 10% of fever that you get with the AstraZeneca up to about 30% of fever, malaise, you know, feeling achy, not so great when you mix and match at four weeks. Right now, I think they're looking at some studies of whether or not the interval from the AstraZeneca to the booster of the mixing and matching could be like two to three months. And so all indications right now is that there will be no demonstrable or significant
increase in side effects that will be severe. The other thing I've looked at some of the studies at Spain is the benefit of taking Tylenol, acetaminophen, within the first 48 hours to minimize
side effects. They've also looked at early data that actually mixing the two vaccines might booster up your antibody response. This is again more lab tested, as opposed to looking at real world evidence over time. But there might be even a beneficial effect of mixing and matching these different vaccines, because they might affect the immune system in different ways this thing called the B cell and the T cell. So all things considered, it's very safe to mix the vaccines, two shots are the way to go. If you have any concern about the safety of receiving the first Az vaccine, go ahead and get the mRNA vaccine. The other big question will be whether or not will be the time interval of getting that third booster vaccine with these variants of concern.

How will my life change after I get my second vaccine?

Hi Dr. Aw, how will my life change after I get my second vaccine?

Dr. Aw: Well, the great news is that science has found a solution to this pandemic, which is rapid deployment of vaccines; two doses giving great protection against the variants of concern, and also the ability to manipulate and create new vaccines for the booster doses, depending on what circulating. Of course, there's almost two pandemics going on one in the developing world where they have access to vaccines, and the other world. Sorry, one in the developed world that has access to vaccines, the other ones in the developing world that doesn't have access to vaccines. So we're going to it's going to be a while before the world sort of catches up in terms of everyone getting immunized. However, for those folks that live in areas that are fortunate to get the vaccines after two shots, two weeks after your two shots, particularly with the mRNA vaccine or even AstraZeneca vaccine, you're gonna have great protection, you know, north of 90% for severe illness, so basically, it prevents hospitalization, severe illness, and the good news is that a lot of studies are showing that or decrease secondary transmission. So the ability to transmit this virus to other folks. So even if you do get the vaccine, sorry. Even if Did you get the virus, you probably will get a milder version of the effects of the virus and it probably is not as transmissible, there's something called viral load. So this is all good news in terms of getting both shots, how this will change is your bubbles will change. So basically, you'll start to be, you know, get together with other folks that are fully vaccinated. So that'll start, of course, with your family, your close friends, your communities, the workplaces. And then once they start to figure out these things called vaccine passports, these different apps will identify who's vaccinated who's not vaccinated, different markers of biological immunity, then you start to, you know, open things up for weddings and bigger gatherings and sporting events, which is already happening around the world, depending on the vaccine status, folks. So that's all good news, I think we'll still be in a world of masks though, for as we do global travel, they'll still be hotspots that will come and go depending on what variants pop up the coverage of vaccine within the general population, that test positivity, the reproductive rate, these are all terms we're starting to get used to. But I think we'll always have to be cognizant and aware of what's happening in the different destinations that we go. So we'll always be in a world of masks, I think. But I think
things will get better. And another thing, you know, we'll always have to be aware of the risks of prolonged indoor situations with bad ventilation, crowded situations that are very congested for the general public, for which you're not sure whether or not those folks are vaccinated or chose not to be vaccinated. So I think they'll still be kind of a world of, you know, the private sector and the public sector coming up with the rules of how to show that you're immune to the virus, whether or not you've been vaccinated, whether you do testing before entering a different sort of facility. And so but it will get better, and will this become part of life, we'll get used to it. And then the other good news is that, you know, as we approach year two, year three of this pandemic, after the World Health Organization declares the end of pandemic, hopefully, what is not sustained transmission around the world, is that we'll get milder versions of the infections. So COVID will no longer be a serious disease will be a mild illness will get sort of vaccines every year or two as booster shots. And so I think, overall COVID if we do get it, it'll be a milder infection as opposed to more serious infection. So I think good things are ahead. You know, the worst is behind us, we still have some
challenges, we have to pay attention to the variants. Science has got a lot of great solutions for us and we're all looking forward to spending more time with our loved ones or friends and getting back to some sense of normalcy so so it's going to get better folks and thanks for hanging in there and but we still have to be vigilant, still have to wear masks, get your vaccines. It's a two shot story. And it's a booster story.