Doctor in the House: Ready or Not, COVID-19 is Here to Stay
Dr George Lee, Consultant Urologist | Prof Dr Ooi Eng Eong, Programme in Emerging Infectious Diseases
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“We have to learn to live with COVID-19” is a phrase we’ve been hearing all too often these days. Health Minister Khairy Jamaluddin has reiterated that we need to reopen safely and to start treating COVID-19 as endemic. Our neighbour down south, Singapore, has stayed the course of reopening the economy, despite rising COVID-19 cases. Over in New Zealand, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has finally dropped their zero-COVID strategy as the Delta variant persists. But are we truly ready to treat COVID-19 as endemic? Well, ready or not, the virus is likely here to stay. Prof Dr Ooi Eng Eong from the Emerging Infectious Diseases Programme at the Duke-NUS Medical School joins consultant urologist Dr George Lee to discuss how we can prepare ourselves for this new reality.
Editor's note - Prof Ooi has further clarified on the antibody & T-cell response generated by vaccines, in particular the lack of T-cell response after receiving an inactivated virus vaccine: The lack of killer T-cells may not necessarily affect the durability of immunity. Instead, without such T-cells, immunity would be reliant only on the antibodies produced from vaccination. If these are not at levels needed to protect against infection, there is no killer T-cell response to quickly remove the infected cells. In other words, there is no backup protection.
For more on the role of boosters/third doses of the COVID-19 vaccine, listen to this podcast with infectious disease physician Dr Yasmin Gani from Hospital Sungai Buloh.
Image credit: Pexels
Produced by: Lim Sue Ann
Presented by: Tee Shiao Eek
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