The Delta coronavirus variant will likely drive COVID-19 numbers back up in the United States, but "we're not going to see the surges that we saw over the last winter," Dr. Ashish Jha, dean of the Brown University School of Public Health, told Newsmax on Wednesday.
"The U.K. is even further ahead of us, in terms of vaccinations, and their case numbers had come way down, and then the Delta variant became dominant and we have seen infections in the U.K. go up 3.5%," Jha said on Newsmax's "Wake Up America." "Hospitalizations are beginning to rise in the U.K., and that's what I, unfortunately, expect will happen a little bit here."
He added that he thinks the United States is "thankfully done" with surges like it experienced last winter, but he still expects "some bumps in cases and maybe even a spike in case here there, especially in areas where there aren't a lot of people are vaccinated."
Jha said he doesn't think the United States is rushing its reopening efforts, even with the dangers of the Delta variant.
"Infection numbers are down across the country," Jha said. "We've seen states like Texas and Florida reopened without any serious problems, and I think that's all good news. It means that we can reopen our country, and we should. We're at a point where we should."
The question is, though, how to stay open and avoid surges, and the answer to that is vaccinations, said Jha, and "that's what we should be focused on right now."
Meanwhile, many Americans are still suffering from long-term complications of COVID, including neurologic and cardiac symptoms for weeks or even months after becoming infected, but a "vast majority" do fully recover, Jha said.
"It's not necessarily the same people who are at high risk of complications" or people who suffer from other chronic diseases, and long-term COVID is often seen in younger people," Jha said.
Jha also discussed reports that almost 900 people received expired doses of the Pfizer vaccine in New York City, saying that he isn't "totally sure" the pharmaceutical companies have "really figured out" expiration dates for the medications and have instead set "very aggressive" dates.
"We need to understand if something is a week late, is it really starting to lose its efficacy or not, that's what we need to sort out next," Jha said. "If there's any evidence that things are becoming less effective because it's expired, then those people probably need an additional shot. But we, first of all, we should really figure out what's causing these things."
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