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Watch: Dr. Ashwani Bhatia answers your COVID-19 vaccine questions

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Dr. Ashwani Bhatia, chief medical officer of BayCare Clinic recently participated in a Facebook LIVE discussion detailing the history of vaccines, why they have historically been effective and what the COVID-19 vaccines mean for Wisconsin’s battle against the virus.

“(The vaccine rollout) is the first step to get us over this pandemic which we have been facing,” says Bhatia. “I think we might underestimate this now and (not) realize how big of an event this is.”

It’s a huge step for the community, he adds.

“This means, especially for Wisconsin and our community, we will be able to vaccinate our front-line care givers - some of (whom) have risked their lives taking care of patients. That means we will have less staff out if they are exposed or they are ill, and I think we will be in much better shape to take care of our patients not only for COVID but for other conditions as well.”

Vaccines are created to enhance a person’s immune system to fight off a virus.

It’s like preparing for a marathon, Bhatia says.

“If you go cold turkey and try to run 26 plus miles, your body will tire out easily, but if you start training for it, running a few miles every day, getting to a point where your body is ready to run that marathon you’ll be able to breeze through it. That’s exactly what the vaccine does for you.

The vaccine prepares our immune system to get conditioned so that it makes antibodies against the virus,” Bhatia says. “The next time the virus enters your cells or gets into your body, you’re effectively fighting the virus without even getting sick. You’re well-conditioned to fight the virus.”

In the video, Bhatia - who has completed two doses of the vaccine himself, debunks a lot of the misinformation regarding the vaccine, talks about Wisconsin’s rollout plan and focuses on the safety and efficacy of the vaccine options currently on the market.

“Vaccination is the start of the finish of this pandemic,” Bhatia says. “It’s a very important step, but now we have to do our part. Let’s go Wisconsin.”

Published: Tuesday, January 19, 2021
Author: Alysha Schertz