If you’re the kind of person who watches full NFL stadiums and worries they’re potentially superspreading events, you’re far from alone. If you see people watching baseball inside a full stadium and believe that COVID-19 gives a big thumbs up, well, don’t panic, says one of the world’s best immunologists.
“If you have a stadium full of people and many of them are vaccinated, they will be protected, and others will be protected from serious disease,” said Dr. Kizmekia Corbett, One of the creators of Moderna Vaccine, in an interview with USA Today Sports.
“There are some concerns,” she said. “People who study we worry about things like people screaming at the top of their lungs in stadiums. But overall I’m not as worried about stadiums as I am about things like young people who fail to take vaccination seriously.”
That’s the exciting part. What she says next is eye-opening.
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Corbett believes that COVID-19 will become a permanent part of life. Instead, she said, the virus could kill up to 600,000 people, it could kill 50,000 people per year, and could become like the flu.
“Would you close a stadium for the flu?” He asked.
“The virus is here to stay,” she said. “We are out of the eradication phase of the virus.”
Corbett is Shutter Assistant Professor at Harvard’s Radcliffe Institute. She is also an assistant professor of immunology and infectious diseases at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. She previously worked at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and the National Institutes of Health. He holds a doctorate in microbiology and immunology from the University of North Carolina.
Corbett’s foray into the sports world comes at a time when a large part of it consists of vaccines and science. some are trouble spots in the NFL, for example, but the league overall Have done a far better job of adopting vaccination compared to the rest of the country.
While much is known about Corbett, and his achievements are numerous (not the least of which is helping invent a lifesaving vaccine), his involvement in the sport is not generally known. This is because, for the most part, he has kept his involvement quiet.
Corbett said he has spoken to players and individual teams to address concerns about the coronavirus and the vaccine. His talk with the Washington football team was supposed to be a secret, but eventually leaked. He also had a public conversation with Kareen Abdul-Jabbar.
Corbett explained that he has spoken to “three professional teams and a very high-profile college football team” as well as individual athletes.
Corbett was asked how she treats players who have vaccine hesitancy (which she calls “vaccine curiosity”): “The same way I treat everyone else. I use empathy.”
“The one thing that stands out most is that when I give lectures about vaccines at universities, sometimes you lose people,” she said, “because they already know the science. Athletes.” Are really attentive and come to the table with really good questions.”
“I am also impressed by his tenderness,” Corbett said. “I always get a question about their kids. They really want to protect their kids.”
Overall, Corbett said that when it comes to going to stadiums, everyone has to decide if it is worth the risk.
“What you’re asking for is a risk assessment,” she said. “Do you want to be in a stadium with people who may or may not be vaccinated? We assess our risks every day. It has to be in sports as well.”