Dr. Ashish Jha, the dean of the Brown University School of Public Health, said Friday on Newsmax that he agrees with Dr. Anthony Fauci and other medical experts that it could take three doses of the current COVID-19 vaccines to optimize protection against the virus.
"There are a lot of vaccines that have a three-dose regimen," the doctor said on Newsmax's "Wake Up America." "That is not a crazy idea. Obviously, no one a year ago could have said this is going to be a one-dose, a two-dose, or a three-dose regimen."
However, he shot down the idea that more than three boosters will be needed for the COVID vaccine.
"We don't have any vaccines that are five- or six-dose regimens. Obviously, there is the annual flu shot that we have to give every year because the flu virus changes every year so that's a different thing."
The idea of three shots, though is "pretty reasonable, based on the data we're seeing right now, the data out of Israel," said Jha.
The doctor also commented on a recent report from The New England Journal of Medicine stating that the current COVID-19 vaccines may be just 60% effective, rather than the higher rates that were reported earlier this year.
"There are two ways to think about vaccine efficacy," said Jha. "That is how effective are they to keep you from getting infected, and how effective is it at preventing you from getting really, really sick."
The current vaccines still have a 95% efficacy rate when it comes to preventing serious illness, hospitalizations or deaths, said Jha, but he agreed that with the delta variant of COVID-19, the rate for keeping people from getting sick is just at about 60%.
"What we are seeing are more breakthrough infections with delta because you get such a big viral load with a delta that the 95% protection against infection that we saw originally against the Wuhan strain that no longer seems to apply," said Jha. "But it's still 95.5% effective against hospitalizations and deaths, and that's what we care about the most."
Jha also commented on the controversy surrounding talk show host Joe Rogan, who has come under criticism after saying he's treating his COVID infection with ivermectin.
"Ivermectin has gotten a lot of attention," Jha said. "It's gone through a dozen clinical trials, so far, it's not showing that it works. There are more studies going on. If it shows effectiveness in some subsets of people, we should use it."
He also called on doing more studying on "outpatient, relatively cheap therapies," but meanwhile, "what I say to folks is what I say about every disease I take care of. You have got to wait until the clinical data comes in."
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