FORT WORTH, Texas - Fort Worth-based Dr. Susan Bailey just wrapped her term as president of the American Medical Association.
Her full term happened during the pandemic and FOX4's Shaun Rabb talked with her Thursday about what comes next in the battle against COVID-19.
Why do we need a COVID-19 booster shot?
"Studies are showing around the world that immunity to COVID-19 from the vaccinations, specifically the Pfizer and Moderna vaccinations, appear to be waning a little bit with time.
There is concern with the delta variant surging, that we don’t want to get behind the 8-ball on this and we don't want to wait until there's more suffering, hospitalization and death to start rolling out boosters."
How much has the delta variant affected the course of the pandemic?
"The delta variant has really changed the name of the game. Our ICU’s are full across the country, pediatric ICU's are full. It is more contagious, it can affect folks who have been vaccinated, although you're still less likely to be hospitalized and to die. But you can catch it and you can spread it and so that’s what makes it so important that we continue to wear masks."
MORE: Coronavirus coverage
What are your thoughts about masks becoming a controversial thing?
"We have been concerned from day one that masks were being politicized, which is so unfortunate, because they do make a difference, they do reduce your exposure to COVID-19 and help reduce the viruses that you may have in your throat from being transmitted to someone else. There's no harm in wearing masks."
What does an ending to the pandemic look like, if there is one?
"We cannot see the finish line and I think it’s very obvious to most scientists that COVID-19 will always be with us in some way, shape or form. Hopefully at a very low level in the community and one that’s controllable."