Friday, June 9

Will the new wave of COVID infections in Europe affect the US?

Dr. Ricardo González-Fisher talked to 9NEWS about the recent surge in COVID cases in Europe and what that means for the United States.

BOULDER, Colo. — Natural immunity is likely contributing to the drop in COVID-19 cases in Colorado, according to a medical expert who advises residents to remain vigilant as immunity tends to wane over time.

A recent rise in COVID-19 cases in Europe and China doesn’t surprise Dr. Ricardo Gonzalez-Fisher of Servicios de la Raza. He warned that this could happen within a month or two in Colorado.

“We now have the advantage that this happened first in China, where places are closing, then it happened in Europe, where in Finland they had an increase of 84% of cases in one week. So we’re looking at this,” Gonzalez-Fisher said.

Another drawback that could impact the state is the arrival of spring break, he said.

“This natural immunity that some people have is starting to wane now, and the sad part, it’s coming at the same time that there’s a lot of people are having their spring break,” Gonzalez-Fisher said.

With the combination of increased interactions during spring break, the end of mask mandates and waning natural immunity, Colorado could see a rise in cases in April and May, he said.

RELATED: ‘Don’t throw it away’: Expert says masks will come back as Coloradans return to pre-pandemic activities

Another important topic that Gonzalez-Fisher and 9NEWS Watch anchor Chris Bianchi touched on in this week’s segment was whether people should get vaccinated if they received a previous vaccine that was not FDA-approved.

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Gonzalez-Fisher said it would be ideal for people in the United States to be vaccinated with FDA-approved vaccines: Johnson & Johnson, Moderna and Pfizer/BioNTech. But he said the U.S. also approves the use of some vaccines approved by the World Health Organization (WHO) like Sinovac, Sinopharm, Novavax and AstraZeneca.

He recommended that people who are vaccinated with a WHO-approved vaccine get a second dose or a booster of the Pfizer vaccine.

Gonzalez-Fisher said that Servicios frequently encounters people who have been vaccinated in Mexico, Central and South America and a few in Europe.

Many of those people received vaccines not approved by the WHO or the FDA, such as CanSino or Sputnik V, among others. For those people, he recommended starting over with all three doses. 

Servicios De La Raza, the state’s largest nonprofit serving Latinos, continues to work to bring more resources and information about COVID-19 to residents of Colorado who are the most difficult to reach.

They offer an extended-hour clinic every Tuesday from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. located at 3131 W. 14th Ave. in Denver. No appointment is needed.

RELATED: Will a fourth dose of the COVID-19 vaccine be necessary? Expert clarifies doubts

RELATED: Local groups continue push for COVID testing and vaccinations as larger state-run sites plan to close


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