OGDENSBURG, N.Y. (WWNY) - There is a COVID-19 vaccine, but one North Country hospital leader wants people to get a dose of reality first.
Dr. Michael Seidman, chief of medicine at Claxton-Hepburn Medical Center in Ogdensburg, is excited there’s a vaccine, but wants people to know it’s not immediate immunity.
“We have to get the vaccine message across: that first shot isn’t your passport to business as usual,” said Dr. Seidman.
He says that the COVID-19 vaccine is 2 shots.
You get the first shot, wait at least 4 weeks, and get the second, wait another 2 weeks, and then you should be immune. That’s a 2-month process and, during that time, doctors say you need to keep following the rules to avoid getting exposed to COVID.
“The irony is that you take you vaccine and while you wait for your second shot, you’re under the false impression that you’re over the hump and you let your guard down and you get sick before you get the second vaccine,” said Dr. Seidman.
To help get the word out, the nation’s top infectious disease expert, Dr. Anthony Fauci, joined Governor Cuomo in his daily briefing where the vaccine took center stage.
“It’s a prime boost, which means you get vaccinated today, you get a boost 28 days from now, and then 7 to 10 days following that you’re optimally protected, even though you can get some protection even after the first shot, but optimally it’s within 7 to 10 days following the second shot,” said Dr. Fauci.
As for Dr. Seidman, a front line worker in medicine, he plans to get the vaccine.
“Yes, I will take the vaccine and really I’m not too worried about it,” he said.
The vaccine is expected to roll out in New York this month.
It will first go to healthcare workers and the most vulnerable like nursing home residents.
Others will wait until March or April, which means most people won’t be protected from the virus until next summer.