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Avera Medical Minute: Doctors address COVID-19 treatment options

Published: Apr. 8, 2021 at 4:18 PM CDT
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SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (Dakota News Now) - With more developing medical information, there is new guidance on to protect you and your family during the pandemic. Dr. David Basel, Vice President of Clinical Quality at Avera Medical Group provides updated details in this question and answer series.

Q: There are social media posts about using ivermectin to treat COVID-19 at home. Is this drug safe and effective?

A: Ivermectin is actually a parasite drug that’s used commonly in the livestock industry and it’s actually it’s used sometimes in humans for scabies and some other parasites. On petri dishes, it shows some antiviral effects as well including against COVID but it’s at 100 times the concentration that we use routinely in humans. So the question has been brought up: might it be effective against COVID? In actual use, until we get wider spread studies with ivermectin, it’s a first “do no harm.” We don’t want to start giving something that we find out later is going to be harmful, without clear evidence, that is going to be helpful. And we’re just not there with ivermectin. So we’re really recommending staying away from that therapy at this time.

Q: Is it possible for those who have been fully vaccinated to still get Coronavirus?

A: We would expect to see a certain number of cases that you’re still going to get COVID infection even though you’ve been vaccinated. So the early reports say Pfizer and Moderna are 95 percent effective at preventing any signs of infection. That means 5 percent of people still could get an infection. But the good news is that infection is likely to be mild and we aren’t seeing hospitalizations severe cases after infection. I watch that data on a daily basis. Our staff looks at all the new admins and makes sure to see if they’ve been vaccinated. We’re just not seeing fully vaccinated people get admitted to the hospital.

Q: If we’ve been COVID positive, how long should we wait to get the vaccine?

A: Early on we were saying you might consider waiting. But now with the variants, the vaccines are shown to be effective at really increasing the concentration of antibodies even more than natural immunity does, and so it’s important to go ahead and get the vaccine. Even with that natural immunity, we’re not recommending to wait. Go ahead and get it as soon as you’re out of isolation or soon as the most convenient opportunity.

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