Nebraska infectious disease doctor talks experience with COVID-19 vaccine trial

Published: Oct. 28, 2020 at 12:37 PM CDT
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OMAHA, Neb. (KSNB) - Infectious Disease Physician with CHI Health and Creighton University, Dr. Renuga Vivekanandan, discussed on-going COVID-19 prevention and safety for our communities on Wednesday morning.

Dr. Vivekanandan is a participant in a current vaccine trial. “As someone who works in a hospital and sees patients, I felt it was important to help in that way," she said.

Vivekanandan said it’s understandable when people are concerned about the first rollout of a vaccine, but that she feels it will be safe once available to the public.

“It’s good to have a questioning attitude. For me I looked at the data and the phase 1-2 studies, so that made me feel ok to do the phase 3 study. The study I participated in had 30,000 patients, so that’s lot of people to look at and I think it’s a really good study and I’m looking forward to the results,” she said.

When it comes to cold and flu season amid COVID-19, she said it’s important to get the flu shot and to continue social distancing, mask wearing and having good hand hygiene.

“This will help us all defend against both COVID-19 and other viruses. We as a community have to help each other. I am worried about the current numbers in our state.”

With Halloween approaching this weekend, Dr. Vivekanandan said families can still participant in activities if they’d like, but to be safe about it.

“Masks are important for kids to wear while trick-or-treating. Halloween masks, so long as fully covering nose and mouth without holes, should be fine.” Said Vivekanandan.

She also had some recommendations when handing out candy. “Pack individually in zip lock bags and place them outside and lay them out individually.”

Vivekanandan also said it would be a good idea to wipe down the outside of candy packages with soap and water before allowing your children to have the candy.

Outdoor activities while wearing a mask are the lowest risk activities, and she encouraged this over indoor activities.

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