Dr. Rai talks monkeypox vaccine, new vaccine for COVID-19
GREEN BAY, Wis. (WBAY) - People eligible for the monkeypox vaccine are encouraged to get vaccinated to prevent large spread in Wisconsin, according to Prevea Health President and CEO Dr. Ashok Rai.
Dr. Rai joined us on Action 2 News This Morning to talk about monkeypox, a new COVID-19 vaccine, and getting the family healthy for back to school.
MONKEYPOX IN WISCONSIN
“If we rewind a few years ago when we started first talking about COVID, we talked about it infecting large population centers where a lot of at-risk people were, and it started on the coast, and it eventually made it’s way to Wisconsin.
“So it’s very concerning when we have outbreaks that are pretty large given the type of virus we’re dealing with, on our coasts, in at-risk populations, and it will continue to spread throughout the country if we don’t take action. I think we’ve learned from COVID-19 take sooner action, more aggressive action here, especially with vaccination, to kind of control this current outbreak.”
SIGNS AND SYMPTOMS
“Initially it’s just having a fever and some swollen lymph nodes, and then you could get a rash all over your body, but more likely, in the United States, we’re seeing a single lesion on the palm of the hand or in a sensitive area. Starts out like a flat little rash lesion, maybe like a blister, can start looking like a pimple or larger blister or something that’s fluid-filled or pus-filled lesion, and then it can erupt or it could open up and spread its fluid and then cause other people to be infected.
“One of the things people have to remember with this, the rash may not look bad because it’s only a single lesion, but we’ve seen reports throughout the United States, especially in sensitive areas, it’s extremely painful, so it’s really important to prevent the transmission here and stop it.”
“They’ve now created three different categories where somebody could be eligible for the monkeypox vaccine. Number One is having strong, intimate sexual contact with somebody who’s known to have monkeypox in the last 14 days. The next broadening is having attended an event where there was a positive monkeypox case that’s known in the last couple weeks. And the third category is men who have sex with men that have had multiple partners over a 14-day period are now eligible for the vaccine.
“As we, really, we could vaccinate a lot more if we had more vaccines, so this is still a conservative way of vaccinating because of limited supply, but hopefully as we get more supply that eligibility will broaden. It’s really important to contact your primary care provider. If you don’t have one, contact public health or contact one of the local providers. We all have access to DHS to get you vaccinated.”
COVID AND HOSPITALS
“We’re starting to see it creep up in cases. It’s every day we see a little up, a little down, but it’s not going away. We’ve seen total cases and hospitalized cases go up and down on a weekly basis. We haven’t seen the type of sharp curves that we’ve seen in the past, which is really good. The more people that are protected through COVID-19 through immunity, especially when it goes through vaccines, we’re definitely seeing those who are boosted not coming into the hospital.”
“Testing is hugely important. If you have symptoms, it’s really important to get tested, it’s really important as we’re starting to go inside, as we’re starting to go to school, maybe stocking up on some of those home antigen tests if you’re able to, to make sure that you’re testing often, especially with symptoms.”
“It’s another vaccine available for COVID-19. It’s about as effective as the vaccines that we’ve seen, specifically the Pfizer and the Moderna, it’s developed differently. It’s developed maybe what we would consider a more traditional vaccine development where we’re talking about pieces of protein of COVID-19 are put into the vaccine. Think about getting a tetanus shot or the HPV vaccine, vaccines that we’ve had for decades when it comes to tetanus, it’s developed that same way. So for people that were resistant for getting the shot initially because the mRNA technology was new and they were worried, this vaccine kind of takes that worry out of the way. So for more people to get vaccinated. Still two shots separated a few weeks apart. We’ll start ordering today actually, and start receiving our doses in the state of Wisconsin sometime early next week.”
BACK 2 SCHOOL
“Whether you’re an adult about to go back inside a lot more, or especially with school-age children, this is the time to get someone who’s eligible to get them their booster. You think it takes two-to-three weeks for that booster to get hive effectiveness. We’re two-to-three weeks away from school starting. This is a really good time to do that, to really educate parents, to educate students about symptoms. Get them boosted. Stock up on an antigen test or two while you’re back to school shopping. Not a bad idea.”
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