AUSTIN, Texas – Texas continues to experience a surge of coronavirus cases and hospitalizations across the state. However, the full extent of that surge may not yet be clear.
Dr. Ben Neuman, head of biology at Texas A&M Texarkana and coronavirus expert, says that cases will likely go up next week due to increased travel over the Thanksgiving holiday.
“Any sort of surge from the mixing and getting together on Thanksgiving probably isn’t going to come until another week from now,” he said in an interview with Brett Shipp. “So we’ll have to be watching those numbers.”
Meanwhile, promising vaccine breakthroughs means that Texans could see the first doses before the end of the month. Gov. Greg Abbott announced Wednesday that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has allotted over 1.4 million doses for Texas for December. Under the state's distribution plan, healthcare workers will be the first to receive the vaccine, and then general public will have access by summer 2021.
However Neuman says other public health measures, in addition to the vaccine, will be necessary to stop the spread.
“We can predict that by about six months, most of the people who got the vaccine will start to become susceptible again,” he said in an interview with Brett Shipp. “Which will mean it’s going to be very difficult to actually vaccinate everyone before we need to start revaccinating people again.”
Neuman says that things like mask wearing and increased testing will also be necessary to fully end the pandemic.