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California’s top Epidemiologist Dr. Erica Pan addresses most commonly asked questions about COVID-19

California’s top Epidemiologist Dr. Erica Pan addresses most commonly asked questions about COVID-19
January 28
12:29 2022

Vidya Sethuraman
India Post News Service

Vaccines are an important tool in mitigating the spread of Covid-19, said Dr. Erica Pan, California’s State Epidemiologist and Deputy Director of the Center for Infectious Diseases, at a news briefing Jan. 20, organized by Ethnic Media Services and the Vaccinate All 58 initiative. Dr. Pan is the state’s top-ranking epidemiologist and was appointed by Governor Newsom to the Western States Scientific Safety Review Workgroup, which is responsible for independently reviewing the FDA’s actions related to COVID-19 vaccines.

Pan answered several questions at the briefing, addressing some of the most-asked questions on a call line California launched at the start of the pandemic, to address its residents’ concerns.

She said risks of hospitalization and death remain high for un-vaccinated individuals, so the most important thing we need to continue to do is get vaccinated and get boosted. All three available COVID-19 vaccines continue to be highly effective at preventing severe illness, hospitalization and death.

Even if you had previously had COVID-19, you should still get vaccinated, especially considering highly contagious variants impacting our communities. Immunity acquired from a previous infection of COVID-19 is strong but often variable from person to person and antibodies developed from a previous infection are also temporary, with immunity declining over time, addressing the question of getting a vaccine after getting COVID.

Comprehensive clinical trials in more than 4,500 children ages 5-11 demonstrate that the COVID-19 vaccine is safe and effective in this age group, resulting in strong antibody response in children who received the vaccine. The COVID-19 vaccine was found to be safe for children ages 5-11, with only mild side effects like fatigue, fever and headache.

The nation’s immunization experts analyze all reports concerning any possible serious side effects following a COVID-19 vaccine. Serious side effects are rare — and the benefits of vaccination far outweigh any risk.

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