In light of Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine arriving in the United States this week, ID Care’s Dr. Ronald Nahass appeared on WOR’s What’s Your Wrinkle With Dr. Arthur Perry to give a COVID-19 vaccination update to listeners.
Dr. Nahass is President and Cofounder of ID Care, the second largest infectious disease practice in the Unites States, and the second largest on the east coast. ID Care has been responsible for treating over 8,000 COVID-19 patients in the state of New Jersey, and furthermore, Dr. Nahass is an infectious disease expert with many years of experience in developing and testing various vaccinations and treatments. In regard to Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine, Dr. Nahass said, “It is an amazing accomplishment because of two principle reasons. One, it is very effective, 95% effective, that’s beyond what anybody would have expected. Secondly, it’s safety profile is really quite remarkable.”
When it comes to concerns patients might have about taking an experimental vaccine developed on an expedited timeline, Dr. Nahass believes the positives outweigh the negatives and he himself would not have second thoughts about taking the vaccine. “I get the question all the time about whether or not I’m going to take the vaccine and I my answer is I’m going to get to the front of the line if I can get there.
So, how does the vaccine work? “The technology used to make this vaccine is really extraordinary,” said Dr. Nahass. “It mimics the natural infection without posing any of the risks of the natural infection, and as such, it’s amazingly effective as a protection. [With the vaccine] we all get exposed to a small portion of the virus, what we call the antigen, and that small portion of antigen has no way to cause illness in humans, and as a result, the vaccine makes an amazing response in our immune system.”
A report out of London last week revealed that some patients may have had an allergic reaction to the vaccine, but Dr. Nahass believes there is nothing to worry about. “There’s always a danger of unexpected reactions as something is given to more and more people. But if you look at the components of the vaccine, the likelihood of true allergic reactions are low. Remember, this vaccine has already been given to 30,000 people, and we’ve seen no serious allergic side effects.”
Lastly, on the importance of this vaccination finally arriving this week after nearly year, Dr. Nahass said, “We’re at 300,000 deaths in this country. We don’t have a minute to lose in getting this vaccine deployed. If you’re a high risk individual – someone with diabetes, heart disease, overweight, or in a nursing home – it’s important to wear a mask, to wash your hands, to maintain social distancing. But, trust me, you need this vaccine.”