U.S. Markets closed
  • S&P 500

    4,201.62
    +34.03 (+0.82%)
     
  • Dow 30

    34,548.53
    +318.19 (+0.93%)
     
  • Nasdaq

    13,632.84
    +50.42 (+0.37%)
     
  • Russell 2000

    2,241.42
    +0.05 (+0.00%)
     
  • Crude Oil

    64.91
    +0.20 (+0.31%)
     
  • Gold

    1,815.00
    -0.70 (-0.04%)
     
  • Silver

    27.42
    -0.04 (-0.13%)
     
  • EUR/USD

    1.2067
    -0.0001 (-0.0121%)
     
  • 10-Yr Bond

    1.5610
    -0.0230 (-1.45%)
     
  • Vix

    18.39
    -0.76 (-3.97%)
     
  • GBP/USD

    1.3894
    +0.0002 (+0.0125%)
     
  • USD/JPY

    109.0300
    -0.0550 (-0.0504%)
     
  • BTC-USD

    56,448.07
    -907.36 (-1.58%)
     
  • CMC Crypto 200

    1,468.60
    -2.81 (-0.19%)
     
  • FTSE 100

    7,076.17
    +36.87 (+0.52%)
     
  • Nikkei 225

    29,331.37
    +518.74 (+1.80%)
     
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.

COVID-19 vaccinations are ‘extraordinarily safe’: Doctor

  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.

Dr. Dara Kass, Columbia University Associate Professor of Emergency Medicine, joins Yahoo Finance’s Kristin Myers and Alexis Christoforous to discuss the latest coronavirus updates.

Video Transcript

ALEXIS CHRISTOFOROUS: All right, getting back to the latest on COVID-19. Now, Dr. Anthony Fauci cautioning Americans from declaring victory over the virus because he says there are signs that a surge, quote, "wants to increase." Joining us now to talk about it is Dr. Dara Kass. She is Columbia University associate professor of Emergency Medicine.

Doctor, good to see you. Look, we keep hearing that we're getting more shots into more arms every day. Something like 33% of the US population has already received one shot. At the same time, these new cases are rising. Yesterday alone, another 61,000. Can you tell us why is this happening? Why is it that at the same time vaccines are going up, are we continuing to see daily infection rates go up?

DARA KASS: Because, unfortunately, Alexis, people that are not vaccinated are acting like they are vaccinated. So we're vaccinating at an incredible rate upwards of three million vaccinations almost every single day. But unfortunately, it's like we're seeing two concentric circles. And we're seeing the vaccination people up here, but then there's this kind of very, very steady state of continued infections that are happening in communities, especially between young people, people 25 to 45 that may not feel the need to get vaccinated or weren't eligible early on, and then, unfortunately, those younger than the age of 16 who currently cannot get vaccinated. We need people who are eligible to get vaccinated not just for themselves, but for those in their community, especially young people who still are not eligible.

KRISTIN MYERS: Doctor, it feels like we almost have two different stories that have been painted lately. On the one hand, some folks are saying we're in the middle of this fourth wave right now. We're seeing the cases spiking. And then on the other hand, there's a lot of folks who are saying, you know, we've turned a bit of a corner here. You know, the pandemic is moving into our rearview mirror. Which is it? Are we doing very well right now, or are we not? Are both things actually true?

DARA KASS: That's the thing, actually, Kristin. Both things are true. We're doing incredibly well with vaccinations. But it's like, unfortunately, the side of the road that's not vaccinated is also acting relative-- like they're vaccinated. They're unmasked, they're gathering, and they are spreading the virus. So while we are racing to vaccinate, we're also watching variants pick up in communities. And like we said, we're seeing more young people get infected and even hospitalized, which is not what we want to be seeing. We need people to behave just as they were for the past year, masking up and staying distanced, until they can get vaccinated themselves.

ALEXIS CHRISTOFOROUS: Doctor, which vaccine currently on the market appears to be having the most success with these different variants that are popping up? Now there is this California strain that seems to be really picking up speed right now and is quite infectious.

DARA KASS: So the encouraging news is that every single vaccine we have on the market is good enough at protecting against severe illness and death, which is what we were looking for. So yes, it's true that certain variants may see a decrease in efficacy. But it's still beyond the threshold of what we need to consider the vaccine safe and effective to protect people. So it is remarkable that all of our vaccines are good at protecting us currently against all the variants we have to get people to that threshold of protection enough to start gathering again, going back to work, and going back to school, which is what we've always been looking for.

KRISTIN MYERS: Doctor, would you say that at least when it comes to the safety piece, that the vaccines are also good enough, that they are safe enough? Because we do keep seeing these really negative headlines. AstraZeneca, that it's causing blood clots. Australia now saying that they are not actually going to use that vaccine. Of course, that vaccine is not available for us here in the United States.

But even now, we're seeing these headlines about a mass vaccination site that was actually shut down because so many people were having an adverse reaction to the vaccine. And it feels as if every time we talk about vaccine safety, those concerns are a little bit swept under the rug. I mean, are there real risks here, both to the short and long term? Or is it just, listen, there's risks, but we just need everyone to take this vaccine right now because it is safe enough.

DARA KASS: So it's not safe enough. It's safe. It's very, very safe. Even the site that was shut down for numerous adverse events, though there were 11 events, two people went to the hospital, and nobody had any severe outcomes. So we need to really look at that data beyond the headlines. It's the reason we don't approve vaccinations on press release. And we don't make public health recommendations based on headlines. It is really important to understand that even the small number of people that have an adverse reaction or even an allergic reaction are all treatable.

And unlike COVID itself, we can treat every single adverse reaction that anybody would have. Of the 100 million people that have been vaccinated, a small, small, small fraction have had any adverse event. And none of them have been more serious than, unfortunately, getting COVID itself. So we need people to consider that getting vaccinated is not just safe enough, but it is extraordinarily safe. It's very effective. And it's recommended without hesitation.

ALEXIS CHRISTOFOROUS: Doctor, I was hoping you could talk a little bit about something that's not getting a lot of attention, and that is the connection between getting the vaccine and timing your mammogram. We know how important it is to continue getting those regular checkups and going for your regular wellness visits, colonoscopies, and mammograms, amidst this pandemic. But tell us what we need to know if it's a woman looking to get her mammogram around the same time she's looking to get vaccinated. What does she need to know?

DARA KASS: So this is a really important point that came up after we started vaccinating people. So when you're vaccinated in an arm, the immune reaction can cause your lymph nodes on that same side to light up, which is good. It means your immune system is working. Unfortunately, that can also go, if you go for a mammogram right afterwards, there can be concern that maybe there's something going on that same side with the breast. So what they say is, you should not get a mammogram four to six weeks after getting the vaccination.

So if you're going to get your mammogram today, you can get your vaccine tomorrow. But if you're getting a vaccination today or the following-- the Pfizer or the Moderna four weeks later, you want to wait another six weeks to get a mammogram so you don't have confusing lymph nodes on that same side that you were vaccinated on. It's not an un-- it's not a dangerous side effect at all. It's totally predictable. We don't normally look at people's lymph nodes unless they're getting a mammogram. And that's why we say you need those six weeks as a buffer between the vaccination and then a mammogram.

ALEXIS CHRISTOFOROUS: Good, good. I'm glad we're getting that information out there. And before we let you go, what about households that are mixed when it comes to the vaccine, meaning the adults in the family have gotten the vaccine, but they have kids 12 and under in the household who have not yet been approved to get the vaccine. How do you deal with that? How should the family, the nuclear family, be testing each other, if at all, for COVID-19?

DARA KASS: So it's really important that we remember that our children are not vaccinated. My children are not vaccinated. I have an immune compromised child, so I have to continue to remember to keep him safe, which means the adults in the family can behave differently than the children when they're alone. It means the adults can go out to dinner maybe inside a restaurant with other vaccinated individuals. But when the family goes out to dinner, you should probably still stay outside.

I am not taking my children on a plane just yet because they're not vaccinated, but I will go by myself. So it's really important to remember that we take our children places when we expose them to other groups of people that we remember to keep those same public health measures in place that we've been doing all year, so that they don't get exposed unnecessarily. Because we're going to start to see an increase in transmission amongst children, not because it's more infectious in children than before, because they're going to be the only ones left to infect. And that's where the virus is going to go.

ALEXIS CHRISTOFOROUS: All right, we have to stay vigilant. Dr. Dara Kass, always good to see you.