Dr. Rajeev Fernando is one of New York's top infectious disease specialists and this week he answers your COVID-19 questions about the possibility of getting the virus from the vaccine, and how long will the virus be with us.

When you need to know what's happening with the coronavirus, join KICKS 105.5 every Thursday morning. Dr. Rajeev Fernando answers your COVID-19 questions.

Mary in Brookfield heard about some people getting the virus from the vaccine, is this possible?

"Absolutely impossible. What's happening is the people you heard about were probably having COVID sub-clinically before they took the vaccine. Remember, more than fifty percent of people are asymptomatic with COVID-19. The vaccine itself has no COVID virus in it, all it does is stimulate antibody formation to work the virus, but that's it."

Racheal in Mahopac wants to know if people are asymptomatic, does that mean they may have only been exposed briefly to the virus?

"Yes, that could be the case. The symptoms really correlate with what's called a viral load. A viral load tells us how much virus is present in the body. The higher the viral load, the more severe the symptoms. Probably in this situation, without any symptoms, the amount of virus in the blood would be considerably less."

Governor Cuomo said the pandemic could last until the end of 2021 in New York State, you had hinted at that a few weeks back, are you still on that same page now that the vaccine is out?

"It actually comes down to civic responsibility. At this point, people who are offered the vaccine should take it. People need to keep wearing masks and stay clear of social gatherings indoors with people who you haven't seen in a while, and remember relatives can bring it in. To me, that's the biggest risk factor right now and my advice would be to curb those events and of course, take the vaccine. With regards to Governor Cuomo, certainly it's possible to have the virus last until December, but at this point, we control the timeline, it's up to us. If we do well in the next few months, I certainly think things could calm down by the early part of the fall. Just keep focusing on safe activities and I think we'll do well."

NEED A FREE MASK?

Dr. Rajeev is offering free masks if you need some. There's no charge, and he'll even pick up the shipping charge. Just visit maskupearth.org and place your order. 

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