Do COVID-19 Vaccines have a PR Problem?

Do COVID-19 Vaccines have a PR Problem?

"Yes. I think they do," laughed Dr. Monica Gandhi, Professor of Medicine and Associate Division Chief of the Division of HIV, Infectious Diseases and Global Medicine at UCSF/San Francisco General Hospital.

 For starters, she said the headlines about the vaccines that are currently approved for use in the United States have been that they are about 95 percent effective. But Dr. Gandhi said, where it really matters, they are even better than that.

"These vaccines are amazing," she told KCBS Radio's "As Prescribed."

"The Moderna and Pfizer vaccine prevented severe outcomes - and that was either hospitalizations, deaths, or even just having oxygen that was low - by not 95 percent - 100 percent. The 95 percent was all categories of disease, including mild infection."

She said four other vaccines not yet authorized in the United States had similar results when it comes to the prevention of severe disease. Where they have been found to be variable is with their prevention of mild infections, with symptoms more similar to common colds.

"What we are disturbed about of SARS-CoV-2, and what we should be disturbed about, is its ability to cause severe diseases. It’s what has landed us into this situation of masks, distancing, ventilation, lockdowns. It’s because of the severe. So taking away the severe outcomes - and that happened in South Africa with the Johnson & Johnson vaccine - it’s been defanged, even with the variants."

Dr. Gandhi also thinks we have been playing down how people’s lives can improve after they get are fully vaccinated. Because it remains unclear whether vaccinated people can transmit the virus, the advice has been that people