NEW YORK, April 6, 2021 /PRNewswire/ — Dr. Mikhail Varshavski, a New Jersey-based family medicine physician known as “Dr. Mike,” is partnering with UNICEF to raise awareness about COVID-19 vaccines, as the United Nations children’s organization supports the delivery of two billion doses around the world by the end of 2021.
A partnership of global health organizations known as COVAX, which includes UNICEF as key delivery partner, has made it its mission to accelerate the development and manufacture of COVID-19 vaccines, and to guarantee fair and equitable access for every country in the world.
“We want to make sure that the vaccines reach those that need them most,” Dr. Robin Nandy, UNICEF’s Chief of Immunization, told Varshavski in a video that is being circulated on social media for the purposes of raising awareness.
In the video, Dr. Mike outlines how the vaccine works and why it is safe for everyone, with the help of Dr. Nandy and others, including Alexandra Maldonado, a PhD candidate from Puerto Rico studying genetics and epigenetics.
“The vaccines all train your immune system on how to recognize the coronavirus,” Maldonado said, “and the only thing that is different is the teaching mechanism and how it trains the immune system.”
Nandy amplified that point, noting that all the vaccines induce immune responses to the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein, the means by which the virus attaches and penetrates cells.
“The vaccine could use either the virus, a part of the virus, or something that to the immune system looks like the virus,” he said, “and that mounts the neutralizing antibody response that prevents the spike protein from attaching, and it protects you from the virus infection.”
Maldonado emphasized that the side effects — a sore arm, fever, etc. — are minimal, and agreed with Dr. Mike Varshavski when he said it might be better to call them “intended effects.”
“It’s part of what science communication has to be about,” she said, “so changing the name will be perfect, because it’s so scary.”
The greater concern is the impact of variants, which Nandy defined as small changes in the genetic structure of the virus.
“The longer the virus circulates, the higher the chances of variants,” he said. “So, let’s use our vaccines optimally, so we reduce the chances of variants.”
About Doctor Mike Media: Doctor Mike Media is a health & lifestyle organization launched by Dr. Mike Varshavski. With over 16 million social media followers, Dr. Mikhail Varshavski, commonly known as “Doctor Mike” is a multifaceted board-certified family medicine physician, media personality, educator, writer, and philanthropist. He has also made appearances and consulted on CNN, ABC and Fox News, and served as a regular contributor to publications including Women’s Health, Men’s Health, Reader’s Digest, the American Academy of Family Physicians Blog and MedPageToday.
SOURCE Doctor Mike Media