Dr. Robert Lahita on COVID-19 vaccine: ‘Not so fast’

So now the vaccine. They say December. They say 90 percent effective. Professor of medicine at NY Medical College, chairman of medicine in NJ’s St. Joseph University Hospital, professor of medicine at Rutgers Medical School Dr. Robert Lahita says, “Not so fast.”

I know Dr. Bob 35 years. He’s treated my husband, published medical journals, reports on TV, was phoned all night long when President Trump took ill, and says: “Conley, the naval doctor who treated Trump, is very able. And I know Fauci, who was three years ahead of me in Cornell U medical school.”

So what about the vaccine?

“About 30 vaccine types including Russia and BioTech in Munich are now in development. The vaccines mimic the virus. They deliver a message. Genetic vaccines replicate the condition. Problem is they require a second shot seven days later. This is for adults, not children. After a specific time, people are retested. Twenty-one days after this second shot the patients, with diverse backgrounds and ethnicities, are reexamined.

“The vaccine requires storage in exceedingly cold temperature. In addition, multiple testing and injecting is a drawback. Fifty percent of American patients do not want more than one injection. Even for a flu shot. Multiple shots eliminate 50 percent of the people.

“Look, this is what I do. What I know. I’ve been around these committees. First of April this still has to go through examinations of epidemiologists and immunologists. If approved, 50 million doses could be ready by Christmas.”

Immunologist, specialist in autoimmune diseases, Dr. Bob adds: “Like the common cold, this can recur. You can get four or five common colds a year. Weeks later you can get COVID again. It can recur. It can come in a different strain.”

One scientist: “Day 1 we should have — instantly — shut down the entire country — everyone, everything, everyplace, coast to coast. Close it all off. Three weeks. And the coronavirus’ over.”

Actress falls to ‘Pieces’

“Pieces of a Woman” stars Vanessa Kirby and Shia LaBeouf. First 23 minutes is a one-take shot of a home birth gone wrong. We’re talking Vanessa’s a long way from swanning as Princess Margaret in “The Crown.”

Vanessa: “It’s bold, risky. [Also brutal.] It’s authentic. Gory. Physical. It’s horror and it’s majesty. I had to understand every minute of what labor’s like because I haven’t given birth before. I shadowed obstetricians for days in a labor ward. One woman allowed me to watch her. I absorbed everything.”

Playing the mother, Ellen Burstyn says: “First moment I saw Vanessa, I knew I was looking at a real actress. Hard to explain the joy between two actors when they click. That happened with us. It’s why you keep on acting until you die.”

Yeah, OK. Netflix. Out Jan. 7. Nice sweet gift for the new year.

Double wanted

CastingNetworks.com’s hunting a look-alike for Paul Giamatti from the “Billions” TV show. Can be 30 to 60. Needn’t be a union pro. They want his look-alike for a corporate town hall meeting. A walk-on with a few lines of dialogue. How much you’ll look like him, who knows, because you will be required to wear a transparent face mask. Whatthehell, whocares? You could make $200. Cash.

Go directly to art

A new Monopoly set’s upon us: The Met edition skips Park Place and Boardwalk for art stuff. Pass “Go,” and collect a Picasso or something. Instead of houses and hotels, players buy galleries and furniture carved by Chippendale not Ikea. Developed by MoMA, on sale for $50 — not Monopoly money. Real money.

Honorable mention

Judge Shira Scheindlin’s handing Lauren Wachtler — daughter of NY’s former Chief Judge Sol Wachtler and partner in law firm Barclay Damon — the NY Bar Association’s “Excellence in the Courtroom” honor. Also being praised for mentoring female attorneys, Lauren Wachtler is a distinguished litigator.

One COVID homebound to another: “If you’re bad you go to hell. If you’re good you go to heaven. If you’re tired of staying in the house alone cooped up, you can go to heaven and hell on the weekend.”

Only in New York, kids, only in New York.

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