Dr. Ashish Jha, dean of the Brown University School of Public Health, said Sunday it’s unlikely there will be a big surge in COVID-19 infections after the Labor Day holiday.
In an interview on “Fox News Sunday," Jha noted there are now effective tools to both prevent and treat infections.
“I don't think we are going to see a doubling or tripling of cases from where we are today,” he said. “We might see a bump in the next week, 10 days, as we have looked after every major holiday, but we have so many more tools now than we have had before.”
Vaccines are one of those tools, along with testing and mask wearing in “key places," he said.
“There's a lot we can do to prevent that kind of horrible surge that would've happened maybe last year given when we didn't have all these tools,” he said.
According to Jha, there’ll also likely be a three-shot package for COVID-19 vaccines going forward.
“The idea of a third shot as part of how you get fully vaccinated is something we are learning, and it's probably right particularly for vulnerable people,” he said. “There's no doubt in my mind that people who are nursing homes, people who are frail elders, people with chronic diseases, people with immunocompromised states, they need to be getting that third shot about six months after their second…. Whether a young healthy person [should get a third shot is] much less clear.”
“I would like the process to be a bit cleaner,” he added, asserting “it is absolutely essential that the [Federal Drug Administration] and [Centers for Disease Control and Prevention] also approve any such thing.”
Jha lamented that face mask requirements for returning to school this fall are “unnecessarily political.”
“What I say about kids and masking is the evidence clearly leans towards masking being helpful and preventing infections,… the evidence is strong but I would say not overwhelming,” he said.
“But the bottom line is it should be: if we have testing in schools, if we improve ventilation, get adults vaccinated, it is absolute possible to get anybody back to school safely this fall. We shouldn't be turning these things into political battles.”
He also asserted the way to address variants that continue to show up in new outbreaks during the pandemic across the globe is to “get the world vaccinated.”
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