Will masks be a thing of the past after the COVID-19 vaccine?

Dr. Ed Dominguez says not so fast

Will masks be a thing of the past after the COVID-19 vaccine?
(Source: WAFF News)

EAST TEXAS (KLTV) - Will face masks be a thing of the past after getting a COVID-19 vaccine? East Texas News MedTeam Doctor and Infectious Disease Specialist Dr. Ed Dominguez says not so fast, since the vaccine protects you from getting sick, not from spreading the virus.

“What we’re hoping the vaccine is going to do, and it appears to do based on initial studies from Moderna and Pfizer, it is protects about 95% of people from getting sick,” he said. “But the outcome in this study was not to see if people had tested positive or not, the outcome was to see whether they got sick from the coronavirus. And it’s protecting people from the illness.”

Dr. Ed spent an hour answering questions from East Texas Now viewers on Friday. One of the questions asks is it known whether or not the COVID-19 vaccine will be a yearly thing like the flu shot? Dr. Ed answered yes.

“So we’re already in a second season for some countries, and by the time we hit February and March, it’ll be in a second respiratory season,” he said. “So I think the virus has answered that. It looks like it’s going to be a seasonal virus.”

And many of the questions dealt with the safety of a COVID-19 vaccine. Peggy writes, “I am 65 an my husband is 70 an we are scared cause it’s only 90% effective.”

“I wouldn’t be scared about the 90%, because the flu shot is 50%,” Dr. Ed said. “The FDA required any vaccine to get emergency use authorization to be minimum of 50%, so 90% is great news, Miss Peggy. Don’t be concerned about that. This vaccine is about as close as we’ll get for a seasonal virus.”

About Dr. Ed: Edward A. Dominguez, MD, FACP, FIDSA received his Doctor of Medicine degree at Baylor College of Medicine in 1986. After completing internship, residency, and a Chief Residency at Baylor, he pursued a three-year Infectious Disease Research Fellowship under the direction of Drs. Dan Musher, Robert Couch, and Steven Greenberg, also at Baylor. Ed then moved to the University of Nebraska Medical Center (UNMC) in Omaha as a tenure tract faculty member in 1992, also serving on the faculty of Creighton University School of Medicine. While there, his primary clinical research interests involved infections in solid-organ transplant recipients. In 2001, Ed returned to Texas and co-founded East Texas Infectious Disease Consultants in Tyler. In 2008, he was appointed Medical Director, Organ Transplant Infectious Diseases at Methodist Health System in Dallas, Texas.

Ed is board certified in Internal Medicine and Infectious Diseases. He has been named to Best Doctors in America since 1996. He is a Fellow of the American College of Physicians and of the Infectious Diseases Society of America, and a Delegate of the American Board of Internal Medicine. He served on the Board of Directors for the Smith County Medical Society for four years and on several councils of the Texas Medical Association over that same period. Until his departure from Tyler, he was on the Editorial Board of East Texas Medicine, a regional non-peer reviewed journal. He is Trustee Emeritus of his undergraduate alma mater, Rice University in Houston, Texas. Ed consults and speaks globally on a variety of infectious disease topics.

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