Dr. Rajeev Fernando is one of New York's top infectious disease specialists and this week he answers your COVID-19 questions about antibodies and how long the virus may last with the vaccine, and with wearing masks.

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.

We touched on this last week about antibodies, you said that you have seen patients who had COVID-19 have antibodies for up to 6 months, how long do those antibodies last?

"There's some newer studies that say that at 6 months, there are still antibodies but they're only about 50% by that time. One question is do you have antibodies? And the second question is the durability, in other words, do you have enough antibodies to fight the infection? Most people have antibodies present, but they do get significantly lower than immediately after the infection.

Al who listens on the KICKS 105.5 mobile app in Franklyn Square on Long Island wants to know, if everyone got on the same page and wore masks, could we knock out the virus without a vaccine?

"That's a great question, the battle contributes to a certain amount of heard immunity that is about 30%. In order to eradicate this virus, we really need the vaccine as well. We need at least 70% of people to be vaccinated. Wearing a mask will decrease the number of infections. Now we have new infectious strains which are much, much, more transmissible, but there really is no way around vaccines, it's basically the only way."

Joann in Bethel has a similar question, she wants to know how long this virus will take to run its course with the vaccine?

"It's not just the vaccine, we need behavior. This is all going to be controlled by our behavior. Human behavior and civic responsibility is what's needed to end this pandemic. We see early numbers that say we should be done with this by the summer, but I think it's going to go on longer. I know a lot of people are doing a great job following the guidance, but there's also a lot of people who aren't, and that is what's continuing the spread. We're going to see the Christmas and New Years spike of cases pretty soon, but it really is everyone's civic responsibility. Everyone needs to get the vaccine, everyone needs to wear a mask, and everyone needs to social distance. To put it in perspective, I think lockdowns are very important, it's critical. This week, there's some new cases of COVID-19 in China and immediately the government put 22 million people in a lockdown where people cannot even leave their house, and that's what has stopped the spread in that country because of their very strict measures, where as a lot of the western countries didn't follow that and that's why we're in this plight right now."

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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