Rajeev Fernando and woman

World-Renowned Infectious Disease Doc Warns Everyone to Stay Masked Up

Home / Discoveries / World-Renowned Infectious Disease Doc Warns Everyone to Stay Masked Up

By Gary Trock on August 12, 2021 at 9:00 AM EDT
Updated on August 12, 2021 at 1:43 PM EDT

Dr. Rajeev Fernando is a global infectious diseases doctor who has treated cases in the US, India, Brazil, and Mexico.

He is currently a fellow at the disaster management program at BIDMC/Harvard University.

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Vaccinated People Experiencing Mild to Moderate Symptoms

As social gatherings, like Lollapalooza, are getting back in full swing and COVID cases are skyrocketing, Dr. Fernando is trying to get the word out about the importance of non-pharmaceutical measures, like mask-wearing, which can help prevent the spread of disease.

"Over the past few weeks, many patients have reached out to me about getting re-infected with COVID 19 infections despite being fully vaccinated," Dr. Fernando tells The Blast.

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Dr Rajeev Fernando with group of people
Courtesy of Dr. Rajeev Fernando
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He says the data being put out by the CDC – which states there is a very minor chance of vaccinated people needing to be hospitalized or dying if contracting the virus – is not addressing the fact that there are many people getting mild to moderate systems and continuing the spread of the disease.

Dr. Fernando wants to see better numbers from the CDC, telling The Blast:

"Unless something is done quickly this pandemic can spiral out of control further with the inability to see the true number of infections. Between January and April, the CDC tracked 'all' data of breakthrough infections but for reasons unclear to me stopped tracking outpatient infections on May 1. For starters, to retake this pandemic, we have to get accurate numbers of breakthrough infections by restarting this process."

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Why Are Numbers On the Rise?

Although many people thought COVID would be dealt with after getting the vaccine, it's just not the case.

"The efficacy of the Pfizer vaccine declines over time – close to 84% after 4-6 months for people who've gotten both doses," the doctor explained.

He added, "So people who have gotten vaccinated in December or January will likely have even lower efficacy of protection for mild to moderate disease. In my opinion, it will go down even further with the current deadly Delta strain that is thrashing our country. Both Pfizer and Moderna have applied to use boosters in the fall."

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Taking a Toll On Hollywood

COVID has changed the way business is conducted in the world, especially in Hollywood. With the recent controversy around movies like "Black Widow," and Scarlett Johannson launching a legal war against Disney over premiering the movie via live stream, Dr. Fernando agrees that the way we enjoy entertainment has been forever altered.

Black Widow movie poster
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"The Delta variant continues to ravage our country at will and Hollywood is no exception. A few weeks back, the "Black Widow" had a stellar $80 million opening weekend, but the critically acclaimed "The Suicide Squad" opened at abysmal $26 million at the box office but opened as the second-highest HBO max debut of WB's day releases," Dr. Fernando says.

He continues, "COVID 19 has transformed the way we watch movies. Unfortunately with the cases going up across the country, I anticipate a hard time for Hollywood at the box office for the next two months at least."

Wear Your Mask!

In the wake of the rising numbers, Dr. Fernando is taking action and urging everyone to continue and do their part. As the founder of the global charity, CHIRAJ, Dr. Fernando has personally been involved with the donation of designer masks all over the world. CJIRAJ is a global Covid charity and has donated 70,000 reusable masks globally while allowing Dr. Fernando the ability to show his skills a fashion designer for social causes around the world, including those geared toward equality and Stop Asian Hate.

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Dr. Rajeev Fernando at Hampton's event
Courtesy of Dr. Rajeev Fernando

He also advises every one to continue to stay masked-up, even if they're fully vaccinated.

"Fully vaccinated people should not become complacent about wearing masks and if you are elderly or have compromised immune systems talk to your doctor about getting a booster vaccine," the doctor advises.

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