Almost all doctors have gotten their COVID-19 shots, so if they were dangerous, that wouldn't have happened, Dr. Ashish Jha, the dean of the Brown University School of Public Health insisted Friday on Newsmax while encouraging Americans to get vaccinated.
"The data on the vaccines is actually quite clear," Jha told Newsmax's "Wake Up America." "A lot of misinformation is being spread by everybody. Ignore it. Look at what people who understand what's going on and are doing; 96-97% of doctors have gotten vaccinated. If this was some dangerous thing, do you think most doctors would subject themselves and their families to it. No. These vaccines are incredibly helpful."
Jha added that everyone in his own family has gotten their shots, except for his nine-year-old child, who is not yet eligible.
He acknowledged that there have been some breakthrough infections because of the widely spreading Delta variant of the disease, but even if that happens, "you're not going to end up in the hospital. You're not going to die."
"That's what we care about, and that's why I have been pretty clear about this, that if you want to get through the next six months year and not have to deal with this virus in a serious way, get vaccinated," said Jha.
The doctor also denied reports claiming that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is basing its new mask guidelines, which call for all people to wear masks in places where there is a high risk of COVID, from a study from India that was based on a vaccine not legal in the United States.
"I don't know why that study got as much Twitter fame as it did," said Jha. "The CDC had data from the United States from what happened in Provincetown (Massachusetts) and what's happening in other states."
Jha said he does think the CDC should have released its data about the Delta variant when it came out with the mask recommendation, but it didn't.
"I think that was a misstep, but the data they used to make their mask guidance update is not based on that Indian study," said Jha. "It's really based on data and what we're seeing here in the United States."
Meanwhile, Jha stressed that people who have already had COVID should still get their vaccinations, particularly because of the contagious nature of the Delta strain of the virus.
"I think at this point, the evidence is pretty overwhelmingly clear that natural immunity is not going to be good enough to protect you against delta," said Jha. "It will probably prevent you from getting super sick, but it's not as good as vaccines, and so I still recommend clinically that anybody who's had a natural infection and recovered absolutely get vaccinated. "
He called claims that only Trump supporters are refusing to get their shots "nonsense."
"That's just not true," said Jha. "It's both wrong and unhelpful. It's wrong because there are lots of people who have not gotten vaccinated for all sorts of different reasons, and it's unhelpful because like, why are we blaming certain groups of people? Lots and lots of Trump voters have gotten vaccinated. In fact, the majority of Trump voters have gotten vaccinated. We just should stop this nonsense and start looking at why are people holding off and then help address their questions and concerns instead of calling them names."
Jha also said he doesn't see lockdowns over the pandemic and the new surge of COVID cases coming at this point.
"Look, I can imagine in some places if there's a horrible outbreak and hospitals are completely overwhelmed, you can imagine curtailing certain public health activities for certain activities for a short period of time," said Jha. "But that is a very different thing than anything that looks like a lockdown. It's not going to happen now. It's not going to happen soon. I think people need to just get vaccinated and let's move on from this pandemic."
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