The Body: How one Black woman wrestles with vaccine hesitancy

UC expert says COVID-19 vaccines won't interfere with treatments for cancer and HIV/AIDS

Even with the growing availability of COVID-19 vaccines and more and more people getting vaccinated, some are still hestitant about getting the shot. In an article in The Body about lingering vaccine hesitancy, Carl Fichtenbaum, MD, of the Division of Infectious Diseases at the UC College of Medicine was one of the expert sources cited.

On the topic of why the vaccine was produced so soon as opposed to other research such as a cure for AIDS, Fichtenbaum said the pandemic has the potential to lead to the deaths of 10 to 25 million people worldwide in a two-to-three-year time period.

a male doctor in a white lab coat gestures with his hands while talking in a lab

Carl Fichtenbaum, MD, of the UC College of Medicine Division of Infectious Diseases/Photo/Joe Fuqua II/UC Creative + Brand

“It has completely disrupted the world economy and most communities,” he said. “This is a clear emergency that requires action. It is always a debate about where to put your resources. It does not diminish the need for a cure for AIDS. By putting significant resources and scientists on this problem, we were able to find an answer quickly.”

On the topic of whether or not the COVID-19 vaccines would interfere with cancer or HIV/AIDS treatments, Fichtenbaum said that would not happen. 

As for the urgency to get as many people vaccinated as quickly as possible, Fichtenbaum said that we need about 80% to 85% of people in the United States to be vaccinated to really defend ourselves against COVID-19.

“It would be great if we could reach our goal in the summertime,” he said. “The reason is that we want to end the pandemic. By getting many people immune to the disease, we may be able to stop the pandemic.”

Read the entire article here

Lead photo/Colleen Kelley/UC Creative + Brand

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