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Central Texas doctors hope the vaccinated will be ‘team players’

Published: Mar. 9, 2021 at 10:36 PM CST
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WACO, Texas (KWTX) - Local medical professionals are weighting-in after the CDC provided guidance for those who have been fully vaccinated from COVID-19, saying they hope the vaccinated will continue to take safety precautions to protect those still at risk and avoid another surge.

“We, right now, think with our current vaccines that there’s pretty good protection against even the newest and craziest variants, but who knows, another one might come along anytime,” said Dr. Tim Martindale, Family Physician at Martindale Family Medicine.

Martindale has both had COVID-19, and been vaccinated for it.

“April will be one-year since I came down with it, It was very 14 days of intense difficulty, seven days of pretty severe difficulty, and another couple weeks of recovery, but afterwards there was a great sense of glee, I’d gotten past it and was free to take care of people with it,” said Martindale. “Going through the illness was worth it because I’m glad that’s behind me and I have immunity and I have so much to offer to others through my experience--going through the vaccine was worth it because now I know I’m not only protected from the virus, but I also have that 95% protection from the vaccine.”

Martindale was vaccinated with a two-dose vaccine and says he suffered side-effects.

He says it was miserable, but worth it.

“I had about a week of fevers in the evenings and body aches and exhaustion, and that lasted for about a week severe, and then two more weeks of moderate trouble,” said Martindale. “And then I got the second dose--not debilitating, but I was miserable for about four or five weeks with the second shot.”

According to the Texas Dept. of State Health Services, more than four-million Texans, about 14 percent, have received at least one dose of the vaccine.

Martindale says it almost makes the vaccinated “elite” as they can seemingly do things others can’t.

“It sort of becomes a little competitive or elitism, so part of me says i want to still live my life in a careful protected way in harmony with those who are still at risk and haven’t gotten that protection yet,” said Martindale. “I’m personally convinced that most of us who are completely protected should as much as possible continue to do the same things others are doing.”

His philosophy is in-line with new CDC guidelines released this week for the vaccinated, which essentially say they can be unmasked around small groups of people they know are at low-risk but should continue to be masked in public and while traveling, especially as the threat of variants remains.

”We’re aware of the fact that might change everything, that here the great gains we’ve done with vaccination might hit the point that a new variant might be much more powerful,” said Martindale. “The variants could change the whole picture at any point, if we let loose too quickly and we let the volume get up higher again, the more active virus is out there, the more chance one of those becomes a variant that becomes more destructive and not covered by our current protection.”

Martindale believes Central Texas is on the right path and steadily increasing vaccination numbers by getting thousands of doses administered each week, but he reiterates the importance of those who get vaccinated to be ‘team players.’

”I think Central Texas is in a very good place, I just think we need to not let loose, not take our foot off the acceleration towards safety, and work, when we can, at trying, whenever possible, to follow as many rules of safety and caution as we can,” said Martindale.

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