Doctors: Don’t let your guard down amid good COVID-19 vaccine news

Published: Nov. 16, 2020 at 5:19 PM CST
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GREEN BAY, Wis. (WBAY) - Amid more good news Monday about COVID-19 vaccine development, Advocate Aurora Health professionals are asking people to remember CDC guidelines when it comes to the pandemic and that includes the upcoming holiday season.

“Both of these companies really hit it out of the park,” said Dr. Robert Citronberg, Executive Medial Director of Infectious Disease and Prevention for Advocate Aurora Health.

Dr. Citronberg said the efficacy rates for Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccine (94.5 percent) and Pfizer’s vaccine (more than 90 percent) is astounding and he said we will likely see more vaccine news in the weeks ahead.

“Come first or second quarter of next year, we might have 4-5 more vaccine as companies like Johnson and Johnson, are all in later stages of developing vaccines,” said Dr. Citronberg . “It is very likely that by this time next year we will be looking at COVID-19, at least the pandemic, in the rearview mirror and that is just fantastic news.”

But first, we have to get through the news few months, which will likely be rough said Dr. Citronberg.

“We are definitely concerned people are going to jump the gun,” said Dr. Citronberg. “If Thanksgiving turns out tp be a super-spreader event, if Christmas turns out to be a super-spreader event, we are going to see numbers we couldn’t possible imagine. So pretty confident it will be bad, just a question of how bad ?”

As hospitals inch closer to capacity as COVID-19 admissions reach a new high in Wisconsin, Advocate Aurora Health professionals are worried about what follows Thanksgiving.

“The numbers are devastating right now. Our health care system cannot absorb doubling or tripling of those numbers that might happen if we have many super spreader events arising out of Thanksgiving,” said Dr. Citronberg.

For that reason, they are urging everyone to reconsider their plans this holiday season and continue following CDC guidelines.

“We have to buckle down and get through the winter for the promise of a brighter spring and summer,” said Dr. Citronberg. “There’s a very good chance that the second half of next year, things are going to look normal and we have to keep our eyes on the prize to get there.”

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