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Virus Expert Just Issued This Stark Warning

A fall and winter surge may happen in areas of the country that remain unvaccinated.
FACT CHECKED BY Emilia Paluszek
Doctor and infected patient in quarantine in hospital, coronavirus concept.

The COVID-19 pandemic isn't over, although it may feel that way in much of America. That's because not enough people are getting vaccinated quick enough in the face of a more transmissible new variant, dubbed Delta. In response, University Of Nebraska Medical Center "College Of Public Health" Dean/Professor, Dr. Ali S. Khan, joined SiriusXM Doctor Radio's "Doctor Radio Reports" (on SiriusXM Doctor Radio, channel 110) and told show host Dr. Marc Siegel that he believes that Americans should be worried about the fall and winter.

To find out why and how you can protect yourself, read on—and to ensure your health and the health of others, don't miss these Sure Signs You Have "Long" COVID and May Not Even Know It.


Virus Expert is Concerned About a Coming COVID Surge in Certain Parts of the USA 

Mississippi welcome sign with the words "Birthplace of America's Music"

"I am concerned about what's going to happen in the fall and winter. We're already seeing the divergence here in the U.S. in which states and counties have cases compared to which states and counties don't have cases based on vaccination status. And if you look at other vaccine preventable diseases, they also have periods of surges that occur, especially amongst those in communities who are unvaccinated," said Dr. Khan. States like Mississippi and Alabama have very low vaccine uptake compared to other states.


Virus Expert Warned That Non-COVID Respiratory Viruses May Increase

Shot of illness young woman coughing in the street.

"We usually don't see a lot of respiratory viruses during the summer, but we're seeing a lot of respiratory syncytial virus right now, which is way out of season," said Dr. Khan. "We didn't see it during the typical peak last winter, so I'm actually worried about what's going to happen this winter with routine respiratory viruses when we don't have masks and other social distancing precautions in place. So another good reason to tell people, make sure you get vaccinated for COVID and as you get into the winter, make sure you get your influenza vaccine again this year."


Vaccines for Smaller Children are Being Tested

Child with face mask getting vaccinated

Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center "Director Of Infectious Diseases"/Pediatric Infectious Diseases Society "Immediate Past President", Dr. Paul Spearman, joined the show and shared his feelings about the Novavax COVID-19 vaccine and what's in the pipeline, and approving COVID-19 vaccines for children. "We've been involved in a study with Pfizer to look under the age of 12. So these are what we're calling Age De-​escalating Trials, and Pfizer has already completed the first part of that trial, where they could find the correct dose to go into the youngest kids," he said. "And now they're into the second part of that trial, where they really are looking at not exactly efficacy, but more what's called immunobridging, where you can look at the immune responses in each group of children and compare them to older groups of adults where you know there was protection in large studies. And if the immune responses are equivalent or better in the kids, you can assume that they're going to be protected because that's very, very hard to do a full kind of field efficacy study of COVID vaccines in kids, especially with the low rates now, thankfully, the low rates that we have around the country. So these trials are ongoing. Pfizer is looking down to the age of six months. Moderna is doing the same sort of strategy with the Age De-​escalation."


 A New Vaccine Offers Hope

Happy vaccinated woman gesturing thumbs up.

Dr. Spearman tells Dr. Siegel the Novavax vaccine "is a more conventional approach, so it might help with some of those who are hesitant to have a new technology and would rather get one of the older technologies, which is protein vaccines. It's sort of a more classical vaccine. This is very well-established, lots of experience with protein vaccines…And so if that makes people feel better, that is wonderful. It looks like it's going to be a fantastic vaccine. I haven't seen all the primary data. They haven't published all the primary data, but what they have released so far looks terrific."

RELATED: Everyday Habits That Age You Quicker, According to Science


How to Stay Safe During the Rest of the Pandemic

Young man wearing two face masks.

Follow the public health fundamentals and help end this pandemic, no matter where you live—wear a face mask that fits snugly and is double layered, don't travel, social distance, avoid large crowds, don't go indoors with people you're not sheltering with (especially in bars), practice good hand hygiene, get vaccinated when it becomes available to you, and to protect your life and the lives of others, don't visit any of these 35 Places You're Most Likely to Catch COVID.

Alek Korab
Alek Korab is a Co-Founder and Managing Editor of the ETNT Health channel on Eat This, Not That! Read more