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Article | Biosciences Division

Antonopoulos answers questions about variants and vaccines in Foster’s online panel

Bill Foster hosts panel to address important and timely questions about variants, vaccine efficacy, masks, herd immunity, and more.

On Thursday, August 19, Argonne’s Dion Antonopoulos, Director of the Biosciences Division, participated in an online panel discussion on COVID-19 variants and vaccines hosted by Illinois Representative Bill Foster of Illinois’ 11th Congressional District. The panel, which also included Linnea Windel (RN, MSN, FAAN) VNA Healthcare President and CEO, and Dr. Atul Gupta, an infectious disease expert at St. Joseph and Silver Cross Hospitals, addressed important and timely questions about variants and vaccines:

  • What a variant is and how it affects testing, transmission, and treatment
  • How we can respond the rise of the highly transmissible Delta variant (2 times as transmissible as the original strain and producing 1200 times the viral load)
  • The effectiveness of the vaccines in preventing hospitalizations and death from Delta
  • How vaccines function to prevent emergence and transmission of future variants
  • Talking to people with vaccine hesitancy
  • How our community can reach herd immunity” and avoid overwhelming hospitals
  • How masks reduce the risk of the wearer spreading Delta
  • Protecting kids under 12
  • When booster shots will be available and how well they will protect against COVID-19

The video offers a wealth of information from experts.