Addressing Concerns and Resistance To The COVID-19 Vaccine with Dr. Vincent Venditto

On this episode, we welcome back Dr. Vincent Venditto, Assistant Professor of Pharmaceutical Sciences at the University of Kentucky College of Pharmacy. Tony and Dr. Venditto begin by reflecting on where we were in the pandemic when they first connected in January and where we are with the pandemic today. Dr. Venditto shares his perspective on where we are in the life cycle of this pandemic and discusses the concerns over the delta variant. They dive into questions about the vaccine, boosters, should people who’ve had the vaccine be masked indoors or should they not be masked, can people who have had the vaccine still spread COVID-19, and get into depth about the hesitancy and resistance with getting vaccinated.

Dr. Venditto received training in vaccine design and immunology and continues to investigate vaccine strategies to better understand how the immune system works in disease progression.

SPEAKERS: Dr. Vincent Venditto, Tony Delisle

Tony Delisle  00:00

Hello, and welcome to I think a very critical episode in a very timely one. We are recording this on July 29th, 2021. We are talking to Dr. Vincent Venditto. He comes to us from the University of Kentucky College of Pharmacy, Pharmaceutical Sciences. We talked to him in January of this past year and where we’re at in the pandemic, then to now we get into his perspectives of where we are in the lifecycle of this pandemic. Currently, today, as I’m recording this, a lot of concerns over the Delta variant and the amount of people that are getting infected and hospitalized is super concerning. There are a lot of questions about the vaccine, breakthrough vaccinations, boosters, do we need them to people who have received the vaccine? Should they be masking indoors? Should they not be masking? Can people who have been vaccinated be spreading COVID? We get into this, and he provides very detailed information about those important questions. We also get into the hesitancy and resistance that’s out there, why that might be how to really address the resistance and hesitancy that is out there. We talk about public health, public health agencies, researchers, science, and the perspectives that people have about it, I think has been highly impacted due to COVID. And the trusting of these institutions have been tested, and what people should know, the questions they should be asking themselves when they are receiving information about your research and science that has gone into it. How can we be really good critical consumers of this information? We really get into that. And I think that’s a very important one to really unpack and then I you know, asking very specific questions too about policy implications about the vaccinations, should we be requiring this in the workplace? Should we not be requiring this? What kind of guidelines should we be adhering to? What should we be thinking about, you know, as this becomes federally approved in very short order? He is just an amazing steward of information that research and science culminates and aggregates together and can communicate it to us in a language that I can understand, others can understand. He certainly has an expertise and level, it can talk way over our heads. And here he is a laboratory base scientist able to come out to the general public and talk about things that we need to know and a language that we can understand. And not only has the the intellectual communication capacity to do this, but also what I find, his heart’s in the right place about this as a serious concern for the overall well being of not just himself, not just his family, not just the community he lives in, but the world that we live in, and realizing and articulating to us that this is an issue that is worldwide. And we’re all in this together and to do and make decisions that are based on what is the right thing to do for humanity. So I’m just very honored that someone as busy as they are doing the work that he is doing, takes the time to share his insights with us on these very important questions. So enjoy the episode, please reach out to him or myself. We’ll leave some information in the show notes if you want to receive more information, Dr. Vincent Venditto. So I was thinking about the last time that we talked together, I think it was January-ish if my memory serves me correct. Do you remember?

Dr. Vincent Venditto  03:49

Oh man I did not look at what it was. But yeah, it..

Tony Delisle  03:53

Sounds a bit, it feels like January, because January, I think we were talking about the vaccine. And the hesitancy out there wasn’t even an issue yet. Because like so many people wanted it. And there just wasn’t enough. And there were barriers to it that we were coming across for people that were vulnerable, and etc. So I find it very interesting that we’re recording this basically at the end of July. That was January-ish. Within six months, it feels like 10 years went by, right? And so it gives me this opportunity to really zoom out and see where we are, you know, so much has happened over the last six months, which was January 2021. And January 2020 from what I understand, you probably be able to tell me, I think the genetic code for the virus was released to the world so that people like you could start working on a vaccine. Right. That was like a year and then fast forward to our conversation. And now here we are in July 2021. So I’m all zoomed out right now on this, if you could tell us where you think we are in the life course of the COVID-19 virus. Where would you say that we are within this life course of a pandemic? If you can even speculate.

Dr. Vincent Venditto  05:02

Sure, sure. So I, you know, I think the fact that the vaccine and you know, with our previous conversation talking about the vaccine and how it was incredible that we were able to get a vaccine into people’s arms so quickly, I mean, yeah, really a testament to the science. The fact that that happened, it’s it’s such a positive thing for science, it’s a positive thing for our country, it’s a positive thing for the world, really, that we have the opportunity to get vaccinated. So, so in the United States, right now, we’re sitting at about just under 50% of the population vaccinated. And it’s not necessarily for a lack of available resources in vaccines, I think there’s still a lot of vaccine hesitancy for a number of reasons. But you know, when when we look globally, there are many countries that have less than 1% of their population vaccinated, because they just don’t have the resources for vaccination. This is a worldwide pandemic. And we have vaccines that are that are safe, we have vaccines that are effective, you know, we need to get them into as many arms as possible around the world. It’s fantastic. What has happened since we spoke last, in the number of people that have gotten vaccinated, the United States, those numbers need to continue climbing, otherwise, we are not going to get out of this.

Tony Delisle  06:21

So when you say 50% of Americans have been vaccinated, is that all ages?

Dr. Vincent Venditto  06:26

That’s all ages. So it’s really 69% of the eligible population that’s, around 69% that’s been vaccinated of the eligible population. So.

Tony Delisle  06:35

Gotcha. So we’re right now at a time where it is spiked up again, the Delta variant is very concerning. You know, we’ll get more into that a little later. You know, again, where would you imagine again, in a life course of a pandemic, in the situation that we’re at were the vaccination rates of our country, you were mentioning some worldwide, perhaps, with the speed at which the variants are coming out and everything else like that, at the rate that we’re going, how long do you foresee us being in this for this is like such a question that like to beyond probably…

Dr. Vincent Venditto  07:07

Yeah. And this is probably why I’m not giving you an easy answer. Yeah. So so so really, you know, and it really all comes back to vaccination, because the quicker that people are vaccinated, the people that are vaccinated, then there’s less of a chance for variants to to to arise. And so when you have large populations that are unvaccinated, you’re going to get viral spread in those populations. And the more that the virus is able to spread, the more variants are are able to pop up. And and really all variant is is a mistake when the virus replicates. And so it replicates it makes a small mistake, that causes a variant. Sometimes those mistakes, eliminate the virus and it’s no longer effective. And other times it makes it a little bit worse and a little bit more transmissible a little bit, you know, it adds some an advantage to to that particular variant. And that’s what then spreads. And that’s really what happened with Delta. So, you know, I’m concerned about Delta, it’s spreading through the US, it’s spreading around the world. It’s about 83% of the cases right now in the United States. But, you know, I talked about it’s a global pandemic, and we have countries that have less than 1% of the population, as long as the Coronavirus is spreading in those populations with less than 1% vaccinated even in, in the United States, we have counties here I’m in I’m located in Kentucky, we have counties here in Kentucky with less than 30% of the population vaccinated. So we’re going to see these these pockets of viral spread in those communities, we’re going to see additional variants popping up. And they’re going to continue spreading around the world the same way that Delta did. So is this going to go away quickly? Unfortunately, I don’t think that it’s just going to go away. It’s not just going to fizzle out. And and you know, when you think about some of these, Africa is not expected to get vaccines until 2023. And so without vaccinating the world, we are going to continue seeing variants pop up. 

Tony Delisle  09:03

So I’m gonna ask a harder question even perhaps. Thank you. Yeah, thank you, thank you for you know, illuminating like that we’re probably in this for the long haul. Because we’re all in this together the same boat, one world. When we talk about, say, a continent like Africa, and you’re saying 2023 Like my jaw just hit the floor. I can’t help but thinking like, systemically, what is the reasons why poor impoverished countries are being left behind and this? Are there, I don’t know. I go towards like other, you know, is it systemic? Is it.. cause is it racist? I don’t know. Like, I almost feel like there could be some really forces in play here that are preventing these countries from getting the vaccinations they need in the world needs them to get so I am kinda like asking a question that could be even more difficult for you to answer. But I think it begs the question though, right.

Dr. Vincent Venditto  09:57

Yeah. I mean, I think it’s a fantastic question. I’m not going to, I don’t have an answer for you. I do know, you know, there are a number of wealthier nations in the country, including the United States, who are trying to, you know, put infrastructure in place to actually get vaccines to these other countries earlier, but you know, I mean, it’s just not going to be a very fast thing that happens, where we’re able to get vaccines into every arm in the world in a in a quick amount of time. So, you know, part of it is access, the other part of it is actually the infrastructure that’s needed to do these types of things. And, and the the cold chain, we all heard about early, early, when after the vaccines came out that we need these like really cold freezers to store them. And you know, when you’re thinking about some of these rural populations that don’t necessarily have the same infrastructure that we have here in the United States, then some of that makes some sense and trying to identify vaccines that maybe don’t need that cold chain, those extra called freezers. And so, so part of it is, is access and the other part of it is the infrastructure. And it’s not like we are not like I say, We it’s not like the scientists and politicians are not working on these things, they are certainly trying to address them, but there is going to be a delay, and hopefully, it’s accelerated before 2023. But you think about the vaccine hesitancy that we have here in the United States. And, you know, we’re struggling to hit 50% of our population vaccinated, or, you know, even the eligible population, you know, really getting getting everybody vaccinated. And I think, if there’s any type of hesitancy in these other countries that don’t yet have their vaccines, we’re going to be struggling getting getting vaccines in arms in these other countries as well. And and it could certainly extend into that 2022, 2023, 2024 timeframe. Right. So.

Tony Delisle  11:54

Yeah, you bring up a great point, I think we talked about this in our last interview, where it’s just an amazing feat of science to develop a vaccine within less than a year of its genetic code being released into the world, moonshot, beyond moonshot feat for science, but then the manufacturing and distribution of it and the logistical, just inner workings and complicated and comprehensive ways of doing that was just as much of a lift, in many ways, different, more mechanical, perhaps. But wow, those two together has just been amazing. And at the same time, we’re seeing access and equity being a very much of a challenge and all of this. And so let’s first, I want to dive into beyond just the logistics of getting everybody vaccinated and the hesitancy out there. Before we really get into that, I almost want to start talking about what’s really I think a lot on a lot of people’s minds with the Delta variant. And that would be in terms of those of us that are vaccinated and breakthrough infections that are happening. Talk to me a little bit about that where people that have been vaccinated, fully vaccinated and susceptibility to still getting infected by the Delta variant or any other variant related to COVID. What do we know right now about this variant, in particular, in terms of break through infections?

Dr. Vincent Venditto  13:14

Yeah. And this is maybe something I should have said at the top of the episode. The vaccines are working, they work, they’re safe, they’re effective. They’re they’re working against the Delta variant. Now, you know, you bring up the fact that breakthrough infections, which is we always anticipated that there would be breakthrough infections. So even if you’re vaccinated, you can still get infected. But the advantage of the vaccine is that you can still get infected, but really, you’re only having cold-like symptoms, the vaccine is preventing hospitalization and death. And so right now, if you look around the country, if you look in major medical centers, like up here in the University of Kentucky, so the majority of the people that we have in the ICU right now are unimmunized. There are some other people that are vaccinated who have that who are immune compromised because they had an organ transplant or they have a different condition like rheumatoid arthritis where they they’re immunosuppressed. Those patients are also sometimes ending up in the hospital infected. But in general, what we are seeing is that the net, over, the majority of people that we see in the hospital and that are dying are unvaccinated. And so even though we’re getting breakthrough infections, and some people that are that are vaccinated, it’s a common cold. Now, the the symptoms are more like the common cold, so you know, sniffles maybe, maybe you have a little you just feel a little, you know, off, right, you feel like like a regular kind of cold. The risk though, is that we still have a lot of people who are unvaccinated. And if you are if you if you’ve been… even if you’ve been vaccinated, and you now have one of those breakthrough infections, you can still spread to other people. So if you’re around people that aren’t vaccinated If you’re around people who are immune compromised, if you have kids that are under 12 years old, it is very possible to spread that to them if you become infected, even if you’ve been vaccinated. So, you know, we’ve been hearing more about increasing mask mandates, and that’s part of the reason because, you know, we’re still trying to think about maintaining or, you know, reducing spread. And, you know, even for people who’ve been vaccinated, regardless of their age that if you’re indoors, consider wearing a mask so that you’re not spreading even if you become infected.

Tony Delisle  15:35

Absolutely, I’m glad you’re illuminating that. So people that are vaccinated can still spread COVID-19, correct, correct? Yes. Do they know if there’s a difference between the amount of viral shed from something that’s vaccinated versus unvaccinated? Or is it just as likely to spread as someone that’s unvaccinated?

Dr. Vincent Venditto  15:53

Yeah, it was. So earlier, before the Delta came out there before the Delta variant was was circulating, there was some some nice data that mostly from Israel, because they had a very nice vaccinated population that they were studying. And they saw reduced viral load in those subjects suggesting that there was likely reduce transmission and, and that actually looked like it was playing out in that population. You know, with the different variants, it’s possible that that data is going to change as new variants come out. So I don’t want to say anything definitive here. You know, it’s likely based on how the vaccines work, that there would be reduced viral load in subjects and there would be reduced viral transmission. But I you know, I don’t know what the data is on that right now. So and based on what we know, people who are vaccinated are able to spread it so I don’t, you know, you don’t want to be necessarily the person that becomes infected, even if you’ve been vaccinated, you’re spreading it to, you know, other other people who are immunocompromised or not infected. So it’s better to play it safe. If you’re vaccinated, wear a mask and you know, yeah.

Tony Delisle  17:06

I want to be clear, so people that are vaccinated can spread, we should be wearing masks even indoors, correct? 

Dr. Vincent Venditto  17:12

Yes, yes. And you’re okay. Yes.

Tony Delisle  17:14

Thank you. And I wholeheartedly agree, and I gotta tell you, and I’d like to get your take on this. But I think it was around April, that the Centers for Disease Control, went out and said, Well, if you’re vaccinated, you don’t have to wear masks indoors, and etc. And I couldn’t really find the research, they were pointing towards to say such a thing. I know that there was a lot of pushback from professional medical and other health care organizations on this just seemed like it for me, you know, I didn’t know where they were coming from on it. And maybe you have a better idea of like, yeah, there was great research to really suggest that, but with the Delta variant, you know, things have changed. But for me, I had some mistrust from where they were coming from. And again, I’m someone that public health, I really look forward to it our agencies that are responsible for the messaging and public health to really be given us the best, you know, advice, and this and the other. But, you know, I myself was having trouble with really digesting that. And now back to mass. And you know, this can be spread by people that have vaccines, and people should be wearing masks. I gotta say that, from my perspective, I think like the public health arena, has taken a bit of a hit in terms of PR and trust and all that, what do we believe? And where do we go and getting the message out? And you’ve been a champion for getting the right messaging out of those kinds of things, like what is your take on how we should be consuming some of these guidelines that we we will hear, and then, you know, there’s a reversal there in here. And just from the general populations perspective, especially those that don’t know the process of research, don’t know the scientific method, don’t know how it all kind of operates, and things could change with more information. You know, what advice do you have for people that are consuming this information about how we should be critical about what we’re receiving?

Dr. Vincent Venditto  18:57

Right, right. And this is a great question, I think it is important to know, really, kind of how science works, and how these types of things develop. And let me say that the the people at the CDC, the people in the World Health Organization, the people at the NIH that are deciding these things, it is based on data, and it may it may seem like the data is weak, and it may seem like it’s kind of maybe politically driven, but these are lifelong scientists. And their decisions are really based on science. And the thing is that science changes, right, we’re seeing that these, the, and it’s based on the evidence that we have at the time. And so as we see new variants coming out, we are going to see that continuing testing is going to provide different data and that different data is going to lead us into may come to different conclusions. I don’t want to get into all the data that they that they looked at in making that decision in April to lift that mask mandate for vaccinated people, because I don’t know all the data that they’re looking at. And so I it would be improper for me to actually, you know, say one way or another what what, you know what, what was the strong piece of data what you know what wasn’t but but but they are lifelong non-political scientists who are looking at all the data and looking at data worldwide on on vaccinated versus unvaccinated individuals who’s showing up in the hospital, the total number of, of positive infections, and how they’re changing over time. And, you know, so they’re taking all of this into account. Now, you have a new variant that comes out like Delta, the Delta variant, we’re seeing increased infections, you know, Delta variant has now at like I said, it’s 83% of the positive cases right now in the United States. And with that shift, you know, it’s clearly that the data has changed the, the, what we know about the current situation of the pandemic has changed. And so when the data changes, we have to then reassess where we are in the pandemic. And I think, in April, it made a lot of sense to reduce mask mandates. Right now, we’re in a situation where we need to reconsider wearing masks. And I, it simply has to do with what we know, when we’re making those decisions. And they’re basing this on the science and they’re trying to communicate that to that to the public. I understand that most of the public and even even in my family and friends who don’t necessarily understand this process, they’re like, What, what’s happening right now? Why are they doing this one thing they’re doing the other? And the same thing happened in the beginning, don’t wear masks, now you should wear masks, they’re effective. And, and it was all based on, you know, the data that we had time. And also, you know, we need to be saving masks for our healthcare workers and all the people on the frontlines and you know, and once we had additional data, then there was a different decision that was made. And that was it was released to the public. And it’s, you know, it’s sometimes hard to digest when you’re not in science. But I think, yeah, it’s important for people to know that science moves and science is a fluid situation, and, and we just take the data that we have, and we interpret the data that we have to make decisions.

Tony Delisle  22:46

I wholeheartedly agree. And, and I think like, for me, the impression I get from the people that aren’t into the science and understand the process of science, almost view science as very static, like, these are the answers. These are the facts. These are the laws of science that govern the things and when science says something, it’s in stone, and etc, where, from my understanding, I think there was a sign that I saw that was really summed it up as that, you know, if we knew what we were doing, we wouldn’t call it research. You know, if we knew the answers, we wouldn’t call this research, because now you’re researching the answers. And the power is that we know that we don’t know, and therefore, we have a scientific method that helps answer some of these questions. When we answer these questions, it leads to more questions, as you were saying, when we get more information that changes the equation, you know, I think the lay public perhaps doesn’t understand that piece of it, where it’s, you know, still a work in progress and etc. So I definitely see that is one thing that science can be up against in terms of public relations, communications, health information, because you go back to the breakthrough infections, I think that it was very clear that at the beginning, when you know, vaccinations were being rolled out that you could still get the COVID virus. Yeah, you could still get infected by this and where I think the general public was, Oh, I get the vaccinations. I won’t get infected. You know, I won’t get sick. I won’t be able to, I’ll be completely immune from getting this at all where no, it was communicated out there. It’s just I think a lot of this stuff kind of gets whitewashed sometimes. And general understandings of how science and research works. 

Dr. Vincent Venditto  24:23

Right. Right. Exactly. Yeah. 

Tony Delisle  24:25

And I do wholeheartedly also agree with you that NIH and CDC and all these other agencies are filled with amazing researchers and scientists that are, you know, apolitical, I guess, over recent years. I, you know, wonder if political involvement sometimes, you know, supersedes some of the recommendations as this, you know, it’s coming out. When I was seeing this in April, I was like, Is this a way to induce you know, people to get vaccinated, like, is this an encouraging thing? You know, that’s being inserted into it. It’s unfortunate that I have those questions nowadays where I you know, more than four years ago probably wouldn’t be asking these questions. You don’t necessarily have political involvement, perhaps meddling with some of the recommendations that are out there. So how would you say then, what kind of questions should people be asking themselves when they do get information that is communicated from public health officials and science? Is there, is there a certain things that you would recommend that people should ask themselves when they are communicated information from people like yourselves or others?

Dr. Vincent Venditto  25:25

Yeah, you know, I mean, I think knowing the sources coming from I think, really the the CDC is really the, the main source where anything that’s coming out of the CDC is really reliable. I know that, you know, Tony Fauci has been really the face of the, the scientist front of the pandemic since the beginning, right? Through both administrations, and I, and he has never really, he has always said, I think, given a very honest view of what the pandemic looked like, with the data that he had, at the time, throughout the pandemic, and he has not really wavered. To me, that’s very, you know, having him through two administrations and giving, I think, a very honest opinion through two and two administrations really shows that he is a scientist, primarily, and he is apolitical, and he is trying to put out as much the best information possible. And I think, you know, trusting the CDC, trusting the, trusting Tony Fauci trusting, you know, the, the, if there are others, other people that I trust, I won’t go through the list of, of, you know, people that I might follow on Twitter or something, but, but, you know, it’s really, if I see something on Facebook, or if I see something on on social media, I’m going to second guess that, you know, it’s really the CDC website that I’m following. That that really I’m getting the majority of my information from. And and I think that’s what most people should do, as well. The CDC website has a lot of public outreach and science communication, where it’s not written at a very high level where you have to be a scientist to read it, you can actually digest it if you are a non-scientist and curious about specific things. And then, you know, the other thing, I think it’s reasonable to reach out to individuals at institutions, universities, and that are in your location. So University of Florida, University of Kentucky, where I’m from, I think, there’s a lot of knowledge at these institutions. And there’s, I’m on a, I meet with a group every couple of weeks, talking about what’s happening in the pandemic, and where we move as an institution, what things we need to be considering. And so having that group is certainly informative, I think, for everybody at that table and helps us make those decisions based on the science that’s out there. So, you know, I think reaching out to universities and things like that, in your in your area are also a fantastic idea.

Tony Delisle  28:07

I agree. And in the often right can be the primary source of the information, they can be the ones that are doing the research that the CDC is aggregating and looking at and analyzing to make the recommendations that they’re getting to. So that could be going right to the source. 

Dr. Vincent Venditto  28:21

Exactly, exactly. 

Tony Delisle  28:22

Yeah, some sources are better than others Go Gators. But so I want to I want to go in on the vaccinations, you know, in the hesitancy that’s out there. Again, we’re talking about trusting health related information that’s being communicated to us by either primary or secondary sources. And so we can have all that great information that’s out there, from the best of science, public health experts are communicating in a way that, you know, people can understand and the language that they can, you know, really relate to, yet we have all this resistance in hesitancy that’s out there. What do you have to say? What’s your elevator speech to people that are hesitant or resistant to getting the vaccination to try and encourage that in them?

Dr. Vincent Venditto  29:03

Yeah, you know, I get this question occasionally. And it to me, it’s a little bit of a tough question to answer, because there’s so many different reasons why people are hesitant. And I mean, I can get on my soapbox, and I can say, look, the vaccines are safe and effective, right. But there is a reason why the person listening to this podcast may be hesitant to that vaccine, and to getting the vaccine. And I think it’s is incredibly important to meet people where they are and address their hesitancy and answer their questions. One on one. Right. And, and I think the the the strongest advocates for to address some of these questions are the people that have gotten vaccinated and who are community leaders and, you know, ministers and church leaders and community you know, community leaders that are, they come in all different shapes and sizes and you know, professions. And I, you know, physicians and pharmacists, you know, pharmacists, there’s a pharmacy in every community and pharmacists have all that information and can talk to somebody one-on-one, and it really address those the reasons for that hesitancy. So, you know, I would love to give one blanket answer that’s going to encourage everybody to get the vaccine. But you know, it realistically that it’s not really possible, I do know that the vaccines are safe and effective, that we have so much data out there, that the vaccines are safe and effective. That, you know, if you’re vaccinated, regardless of the variant to date, you know, even with the Delta variant, you’re going to stay out of the hospital, even if you’re sick. And so, you know, getting a vaccine is going to keep you out of the hospital, it’s going to keep you off the off the ventilator, it’s going to keep you, you know, alive. But, you know, I would encourage people who are listening who are hesitant, or who have somebody in their family who is hesitant to go talk to their their physician to talk to the pharmacist in their community. And actually, you know, ask them their questions. I would love to receive emails from everybody and answer everybody’s question individually. But that would not be… I would have no time for anything else.

Tony Delisle  31:16

Yeah. Yeah. Be careful what you wish for. I think you’re hitting on a lot of important points. So I really like how you’re saying, you know, meet people where they’re at, listen to the reasons why, to me, that shows a little bit, a lot of respect, I think there’s a lot of disrespect on one side of the other towards the other side of vaccination, not vaccination. And that certainly won’t be spaces where people are open to receiving information. So I think meeting people where they’re at, being respectful, even if we don’t understand the city, where they’re coming from, maybe we can learn a little more about it. Community leaders, people that reflect and look like the people that we’re targeting to try and get the vaccination. So for us, you know, people with disabilities, having people with disabilities who are trusted and respected and who got the vaccination, or who didn’t get the vaccination, got COVID, and didn’t have a pleasant experience, I think would be also be champions for it, if they really kind of had a wake up call there as well. So yeah, I think I think people who reflect the population and you know, so that would be even more specific people with disabilities who were hesitant and resistant, got COVID. And now can come back and tell their story. I think you’re hitting on a good point there. But then for me, and you and maybe others that are into the numbers and stuff like that, I think it was, and you correct me if I’m wrong, but I think as of July 19, out of the like one point 160 million, some odd people that that would be around half of Americans that are vaccinated, it was like 6000, that of the vaccinated people in this country out of the 160 some odd million have been hospitalized or have been killed due to COVID, which is like, .000, a bunch of zeros, 36% of the people that are fully vaccinated having the severe outcomes of COVID. So I think that’s a big one there, you’re so well protected from getting this vaccine from adverse health consequences of getting COVID, that it is very important to really call out. And I think it was, I think the it was in Ohio, the medical director for the state’s Department of Health, you know, said basically, people have two options, either get the vaccine or get COVID. Would you say that that’s a fair statement there to make that this thing so contagious, that you’re either going to get vaccinated from it, and be very protected from it, or you’re going to get it?

Dr. Vincent Venditto  33:36

I agree with that completely. I mean, I don’t and and the real risk is that, so once you get it, you know, when you’re vaccinated, your immune system is actually we know exactly what happens with our immune systems. And we have a really robust response to the vaccine. That is what’s protecting us keeping us out of the hospital, if you’re infected the virus is it has a way of suppressing the immune response. And so you actually don’t get the same response from being infected, as you do with the vaccine, and the vaccine gives you a much better protection. So if you’re infected, you could still get infected again, and again, and again. And if we have additional variants come out that become worse and worse and you know, more transmissible and higher fitness, that they’re able to actually make you sicker and give you different symptoms. Even if you were infected, you could get infected with another variant that the vaccine actually protects you from.

Tony Delisle  34:34

Wow, that’s a really great reason to do it too, like the multiple reinfections that could happen. And then maybe you’d be able to be able to talk to what I consider also very concerning. It’s, you know, I don’t think we should always look at this and enlight your liver die, you know, as the outcome there seems to be very serious outcomes short of death, such as from what I understand, like what’s been called, I guess, long haulers syndrome where people will have chronic, chronic cardio, respiratory, just a particular type of symptoms that seem to accompany this that stick around longer. Do you know much about what I’m referring to there?

Dr. Vincent Venditto  35:11

Yeah, I do. And I don’t think we, as a scientific community, I don’t think we fully understand what’s happening there. So I don’t think we can really predict who’s getting the who’s, you know, becoming a long-hauler if they’re infected. I know, personally, I have, I have friends who have been infected, and they’re still experiencing symptoms now, 10, 10 months later. And and they’re, you know, they try and go out for a run where there’s the they, there’s, they’re still super fit and, you know, used to be able to run, you know, several miles, and now they can’t even make it a mile. And it’s, it’s really, it’s impacting their lungs, it’s impacting their circulation. You know, there’s, there’s other symptoms like brain fog. And, and, and so we don’t, we don’t really understand who’s getting it and why they’re getting it. But certainly, there are people that are that are affected by it. I did hear and, you know, I should, I should be careful how deep I go in this conversation, because I’m not fully up on the literature. So I want I want to, you know, preface what I’m going to say with that, but I I do know, early in the pandemic, people who were experiencing this long hauler, long COVID symptoms, when they were vaccinated, they started to get some relief from those symptoms. So they were actually beginning to improve, improve because of the vaccination. And, you know, like I said, I don’t I don’t know where they’re where that literature has gone where that that science is gone. So I, I shouldn’t say more than that. But I know that there were some reports early, early on that the vaccine looked like it was having some effect and in those populations as well. So, you know, I think that there’s a lot of benefit from getting vaccination, you know, for a lot of different people who could be infected.

Tony Delisle  37:00

Yeah, that’s encouraging to hear. Because I do think we’re getting short of death here is super concerning considerations that people should have and whether or not to get vaccinated, and this long haulers and having these symptoms stay around longer than normal. And I know people as well that are young fit, and having cardio respiratory issues and complications, and they’ve seen up ticks and strokes and aneurysms and younger populations than is normally seen, who knows if there’s a connection between it or not, I think time will tell. But I think that’s a big, very big concerning one. And I hope what you kind of heard is true about the vaccine could maybe help abate some of those and people that have been affected and maybe symptomatic of this long haulers that people have that would be very promising. And another reason, again, for people to get vaccinated, what would you say then to people that have disabilities in particular, about some of the reasons that they should get vaccinated? Is there any kind of messaging in particular for this group that you would have that could be in addition, or on top of or even more highlighted, in terms of reasons why people should get vaccinated? 

Dr. Vincent Venditto  38:07

Yeah, I mean, you know, I think we talked about it in our previous conversation, the the increased risk for cardiovascular complications, and, and the, the increased risk of side effects from from infection and getting COVID. And, you know, really, we want to think about populations that are at increased risk for for some of the the additional symptoms, like the cardiovascular complications, the pulmonary complications, we want to make sure that these populations are immunized that they’re getting the vaccines. And, you know, we’re now talking about getting booster shots. And I think, you know, we want to think about populations who are at increased risk to be able to get those booster shots. I, you know, think I, I’ve gotten both of my vaccines, both of my my doses of Moderna. You know, I don’t necessarily think that I need a booster shot because I know that I’m going to be out of the hospital. I’m not I’m not going to go into a hospital if I get infected. And I think, you know, thinking about populations that are at increased risk. There, there may be a need for a booster shot, a third shot in in those populations. And, you know, I, it’s, it’s so important for everybody to be vaccinated, and then it’s anybody that has these additional, you know, cardiac, cardiac pulmonary, cardiopulmonary complications. It’s even more important to get vaccinated and to have your if you are hesitant to have your hesitancy addressed by talking to a pharmacist and figuring out, you know, or talking to somebody who’s been infected or somebody in your in your community that’s been that’s been vaccinated or has had symptoms or, you know, what, what, what was the process? And what, really address the hesitancy that you have to so that you feel comfortable enough to get vaccinated. Because until everybody’s I mean, until everybody’s vaccinated, we’re not going to get out of this. And it’s so important to, to protect yourself.

Tony Delisle  40:56

So is the real, not the real, but probably the biggest, perhaps consequence of not everybody getting vaccinated, that there could potentially be a variant that these vaccinations aren’t even useful against, because I would imagine the vaccination was developed for the first iteration of the COVID-19 virus, not all these variants necessarily, is it? Is it possible we could get so off so variant that there is these vaccinations won’t work if we continue to have populations and pockets of people that aren’t vaccinated?

Dr. Vincent Venditto  41:28

So that is certainly possible. But based on what we know, right now, there are no variants that evade the immune response, although, you know, it is, it is, like, it is, it is certainly possible that that happens, there’s no major variant that is circulating right now, there may be a variant that came up in in a couple patients or something that, you know, they’re not yet considered variants of concern that are, you know, spreading throughout the world. And so, you know, it is certainly possible that that one of the viruses mutates enough that it evades immune response. And in that case, we may need a booster shot with a slightly different version of the vaccine from what we get from the first two doses. And if that happens, if we find a variant that is different and evades the immune response, it would probably take us about six months, from the time we identify that variant, to develop that vaccine, get it into patients arms, and get it approved under this emergency use authorization by the FDA.

Tony Delisle  42:34

Wow, that was my next question. 

Dr. Vincent Venditto  42:35


Tony Delisle  42:36

So if we identify a variant that can get around these vaccines that we currently have, it would take six months of the research the trials and and approval to get a vaccine that would… okay, wow, that’s fast.

Dr. Vincent Venditto  42:49

Yeah, I mean, yes, it is. And really, all it is, is, is changing that genetic code that’s in the vaccine, the mRNA piece. And because everything, the rest of the recipe is the same, you’re just changing a few nucleic acids, everything else should go exactly the same. And you should have the same safety profiles, you should have the same efficacy profiles. So that’s why it’s about a six month turnaround. And that’s really the advantage of the mRNA vaccines, because as long as you have the genetic code of the virus, you can very easily turn around and, and it would still have to be tested in patients, which is really the majority of the time of that six months, right. So and you test it in a smaller population, you don’t need to do 30 or 40,000. People again, obviously, but you test it in a population that’s been vaccinated, you look at immune responses, you look at infections, and and if it’s if it is effective, that that inducing a protective response. So.

Tony Delisle  43:44

That is quite fascinating. And I want to quickly go back to just underscore that people with disabilities should get the vaccination, and may need a booster. So look into that in case you know, again, we’re a more vulnerable population, I then want to ask, because I get this sometimes, who shouldn’t get the vaccine? What is that the groups that have been identified as either too much of a risk, or you might want to be careful in case you have these complications or these diagnoses? Because I do get from people who have disabilities, the assertion or the assumption that like, well, I probably shouldn’t get it because I’m one of those groups that might be have adverse complications due to the vaccine, but from what I understand it’s very specific groups of people not just if you have a disability or you know, this, that, and the other so what can you tell us about the specific demographics or diagnoses of people that should really maybe check in with their doctor to see if they should get the vaccine or not?

Dr. Vincent Venditto  44:40

Yeah, so you know, anybody that has a specific condition should certainly talk to their doctor and, and a specific condition that they’re concerned about. So you know, there are some medications that people take that affect the immune system. And in those cases, if you have an autoimmune disorder, for example, in that case, then it would be important to talk to your doctor to make sure that, you know, the vaccine is still going to be effective, and it’s still gonna do what it’s supposed to. So I don’t actually know what specific populations you can cut this out at once.

Tony Delisle  45:12

No, no. No. So so so for instance, you know, I have somebody that, for example, that you know, is they’re got cerebral palsy, you know, is deaf or blind or like just having a disability, for some people may lead them to think that well, I’m a vulnerable group could have adverse side effects due to the vaccine.

Dr. Vincent Venditto  45:35

Right. So it really is important to talk to your physician, if you have those concerns. If you have cerebral palsy, for example, talk to your physician, I’m not aware that cerebral palsy would would preclude you from getting the vaccine and so and there’s, there’s no reason why you would not still be eligible, even if you have such a condition like, like, cerebral palsy. So there are specific considerations that medical professionals, physicians would take into account if you have certain conditions. And that really is when it comes down to talking to your healthcare provider and having them answer the questions that you have. And what hesitancy that you have to make sure that you are comfortable in getting vaccinated. 

Tony Delisle  46:17

Yeah, you know, this question is also tied to some of these questions that I’m going to have for you. But it came up and comes up sometimes in the workplace, as Centers for Independent Living, for our center, and for many other centers in our state, we definitely have taken a conservative approach to reopening and etc. And recognizing that we serve a vulnerable population centers for independent living also hire more than half of its people having a disability, seeing that through the data that we have, we’re more vulnerable group to the COVID virus and etc. You know, many people think that, you know, again, their disability may put them at a high risk group for getting it, you know, the vaccine, where I’ve seen, it’s very specific about where the high risk groups are, like you said, autoimmune people that have allergies, I think there’s been a very specific cardio respiratory or pulmonary diagnosis that’s made been out there. But I see a lot of people perhaps being misinformed that well, just because I have a disability means I’m in a high risk group to get the vaccine. So I was just trying to clear some of that up.

Dr. Vincent Venditto  47:18

Yeah. And, and really, those things do not link directly, right. So if you have a disability of some sort, you are more than likely eligible, but still talking to your physician to make sure that you that you have those and you the other, you brought up the cardiac conditions, you know, so if you have myocarditis, or have you had a history of myocarditis, then that’s another condition that I think you’re still eligible for the vaccine. And it’s still, you know, certainly safe, but still having that conversation with your physician to have them, discuss your specific situation with them.

Tony Delisle  47:51

Gotcha. So as society reopened, is continuing to reopen. But now with the Delta coming in and being, you know, stick in the wheel, so to speak right now with a lot of the Reopenings. I know Centers for Independent Living, like ourselves, going through a transition into reopening and etc. I know are there organizations to are coming up against very hard questions about how to do it in the safest manner possible. And one of the things that I think gets most of the discussion, at least around the tables that I’m a part of, and it’s been something that we’ve reflected on, we’ve asked our staff about is, do we require vaccinations? Are we at a point that we should be requiring them, you know, in the workplace, whether in the private sector, the public sector, etc, I know you’re more laboratory vaccine promotion, and I’m going to ask you a policy question. But you know, I’m in, I’m in a position where I’m making these kinds of decisions. And I would want to ask people that are researchers and scientists that are, you know, at a very kind of basic level of science to make a kind of call on a policy more macrocosmic thing, but what would you say to people like myself and others that are having to make decisions about the workforce and the workplace? Do we require them or do we not require them? Where would you land on that?

Dr. Vincent Venditto  49:02

Yeah, no, I think it’s a it’s a great question. It is certainly a very interesting ethical discussion that you can have about, you know, when, when to require these vaccines. So I’m gonna I’m going to answer this in a couple ways. Based on all the data, the vaccines are safe and effective, and I think requiring them makes sense. Now, from a being at an institution of higher education, like the University of Kentucky, I don’t know what what University of Florida has decided to do, but because the vaccines are currently approved under an emergency use authorization, we have decided as a university, not to require them at the University of Kentucky. Once they’re approved under a full FDAauthorization. Then, just like the flu vaccine where we require. We required students last year to have to be vaccinated for flu, we will likely require students to be vaccinated with COVID vaccines. Others institutions have decided, even though it’s under an emergency use authorization to require everybody to get the vaccine. And health care workers in certain states, certain organizations have required their employees to be vaccinated. And I believe that President Biden just released information saying that all government employees and contractors working with the federal government must be vaccinated. And so I think there is a push now to, to to encourage more vaccination through these mandates. And I I really fall personally, I fall on that, on that side, I understand institutions that choose to take the more conservative approach, and until it’s a fully authorized vaccine. But you know, we have, in my opinion, I think that there’s enough for, you know, based on all the data that I’ve seen, these vaccines are safe and effective. And the FDA is going through that approval process now. I anticipate by fall, we will have full approval for the vaccines.

Tony Delisle  51:07

You answered my follow up. Yep. 

Dr. Vincent Venditto  51:08

Yeah. So I’m, you know, I don’t know what that timeline looks like right now. But I anticipate that, you know, that they will be fully approved in the coming months. And at that point, I think there will be a push from employers of all different industries to require vaccination.

Tony Delisle  51:26

Yeah, I gotta say, you know, again, this is just my anecdotal take on it from being involved in many discussions about this and whether or not to do it, that the big inhibitor was not having that fully federally, you know, FDA approved and having emergency authorization, maybe the right thing to do but litigiously mind field for employers to require it, HIPAA, and all these other things start getting thrown into the mix, and then it becomes it might be the the ethical thing to do, the moral thing to do. But then maybe, you know, you could be put in your organization or legal, legality, you know, and complaints and lawsuits and all these other things. And then do people have the moral courage to do what they think is right, or they put in their organizations and, you know, so this is a very lively conversation that’s, that’s being had. And I do find it interesting. Now, there’s more and more people coming on board to require it. And certainly, if there’s going to be a requirement of any federal worker, or anyone on contracts from federal, that would put Centers for Independent Living in the mix, because we do come from the Department of Health and Human Services, we do receive some money from the Administration of Community Living. So this does have implications for centers, then what to be considering. And, you know, we did survey our staff on this, and it was very strong, mixed opinions about you know, whether or not to require it. So that helps, you know, to shed some light on to whether or not we should do this. And, you know, again, I see just so much how, like, the research and science really has impact on policies and decisions, and it’s very, I really applaud people like yourself, who are helping to communicate out to decision makers, you know, what’s best in science and making, you know, suggestions and recommendations that you’re doing. That takes a lot of courage and moral courage, it does, you know.

Dr. Vincent Venditto  53:09

I mean, that, you know, it’s important, it’s important for, for us to protect others. And I think, you know, having these kinds of difficult conversations sometimes are our key to actually, you know, moving forward, moving forward collectively and helping those around us to, to, you know, live a full life instead of living under the fear of a pandemic, with, you know, where we can actually get vaccinated and really get out of it, you know.

Tony Delisle  53:32

And I feel like to more of a philosophical thread on this, it really comes up towards you know, what is America’s philosophical ethos, and I find that part of it is the greater good, the commonwealth, right and doing what’s right for having a purpose for something bigger than ourselves, or society or culture, our country should come first. And at the same time, there’s this promotion of rugged individualism, you know, independence, you know, the, or the self-driven, self-made kind of person. And so I find that this philosophical thread of American you know, what it means to be American United States is in play in this conversation in great sense. I think I land I know I learned more on where you’re coming from, think about the common good, and what’s out there for people beyond just ourselves. And yet at the same time, you know, there is this really, hey, you know, we’re the home of the free, you know, and the brave and sometimes ignorant, you know, as well about what’s really going on and so I don’t know what your thoughts are and how that thread also plays a part in, you know, where how we navigate this pandemic as a country.

Dr. Vincent Venditto  54:39

You know, I think this is actually an interesting conversation, especially given that, you know, this is The Independent Life podcast right? And but right, even as the independent life that certainly is promoting independent living in people with disabilities, but just because you live independently doesn’t mean you live without a community and you don’t live out you know, family and friends, and you don’t have a support system that surrounds you or that you serve your surrounding other people as their support system. And there is an independent decision in this and this is everybody’s decision right now to get vaccinated or not. Right? There are no, there are no national mandates certainly. Looks like those things, maybe, maybe coming down the road. But this, this end, it is an independent decision. But to me, it’s an independent decision to to protect my community, to protect my, my family, my friends, my co-workers. And it’s a very interesting conversation to have in this context on both sides of this thread, I guess, right? So.

Tony Delisle  55:42

Oh, absolutely. And I’m glad you’re hitting on this, because I don’t want to lose the interdependence that is needed to be independent. I feel like it’s, it sounds paradoxical. But for me, they exist and make sense in the same space. You know, we need each other to be, you know, at a capacity to be independent and making those decisions, really also challenges. You know, a commonly said thing in the independent living, Centers for Independent Living world is that we do want to promote people to make their own decisions and choices, even if it’s the wrong choice to have the independence, like the general population without disabilities to make the wrong choices. And but it’s their choice, I find that challenge is that kind of thing that’s commonly said, pre-COVID, because of the impact that that independent choice does have influence on, you know, others, but you also said really jumps out at me is that we, yes, we are influenced by others. But we are also influencers of others, as well, in our opinions, our attitudes, our beliefs are going to impact those. And so we got to have a certain responsibility as well, about what we’re believing, what we’re saying, and doing and etc, into that I want to go in on what I’m finding, and I’d like to get your take on this is that sometimes I believe a lot of the resistance, or the hesitancy, or where people come down on the issues on all sides of this, even the pro-vaccine side seems to be to me a part of human nature, I guess, is the need to be right, perhaps, and the forces of ego that can get put into this as well. And it seems to be for me, something that needs to be also addressed in all of this is that perhaps your people are really fixed in their mindsets, because of human nature, perhaps wanting to be right, and needing to be right to placate the psyche and the ego. Do you see that being involved in any of this at all, in terms of like whether or not people are getting vaccinated or whether or not to wear a mask or to distance or to open up communities? Do you do you find this to be an influence? 

Dr. Vincent Venditto  57:44

Yeah, well, you know, I think this gets back to the to the point of there’s a lot of different reasons why people are not getting vaccinated. Right, and, and to pay… So I, I do think that this is certainly potentially the explanation for why some people are or are not getting vaccinated, and they want to be, you know, stand firm in their in their opinion egotistically right, but, but but, you know, I think it really is a spectrum, right? And it really is the reason why people do or do not get vaccinated, I think it really is much more complicated than just saying ego or just saying, you know, X, Y and Z, I think I think that, that, that that’s why it’s important to meet people where they are and have discussions with people where they are because for some people, it may be ego, and you know, and you could have that one on one conversation and you leave that conversation and they’re still not going to be vaccinated. And you haven’t, and, and, you know, that’s their decision. Right? And that’s their… and if it’s, if it’s not somebody that can be that, that you can actually address their concerns or your and maybe it’s not even concerns. It’s a it’s a firm stance, that’s never going to be broken, then, you know, that, that it is what it is, and but, you know, I I just I, I think that that is true for some people. I suspect that the majority of people don’t know what information it is that they should trust. And I think a lot of the hesitancy is not about ego, you know, egoism or, or, and, you know, the same thing on the other side about getting the vaccine. I think, you know, the majority of people are making decisions based on the information that they’re receiving, and what they’re believing, right and, and, and sometimes it’s really difficult to filter that out and, and to know which way you should actually fall, right.

Tony Delisle  59:49

Totally, and for me, I feel like if there’s information out there that’s, you know, say contradictory. So I’ll go off topic and say so, I’m trying to figure out what’s the best diet Have and there’s all this research out there that shows plant-based diet is the best diet. And then there’s all this research out there to the says, you know, eating you know, this omnivorous, you know kind of diet and this certain kind of meats, you know mixed with this is the best kind of diet and got the same valid information on both sides. At the end of the day, I feel like people are going to make the choice based on what they feel, well, you know, I kind of love animals, and I’m predisposed to, you know, maybe not eating meat. And so I’m going to choose a plant-based or, you know, I’m a person that does love to have my meat or whatever it is, and this kind of diet, I’m going to choose what I feel at the end of the day. And I feel like we have so much evidence on either side that’s thrown out to us to consume that either way, we have evidence or whatever resources we can cite to be right. At the end of the day, I feel like it’s what people feel like doing. If I don’t feel like wearing a mask, I’m going to point to all the research, you know, that’s out there the evidence out there that’s says don’t wear a mask, because it could actually, you know, spread the virus or if I want to wear a mask, I’m going to point to the research that does. So what role this feeling play into this at the end of the day when we got information on both sides that could backup our points?

Dr. Vincent Venditto  1:01:07

Yeah, no, I and really, it’s confirmation bias. Right? Yeah, you are already feeling something and you’re you say, I wonder if I’m right, you go search, you know, vaccines are bad, right? And then, and then you you can find all the information on that, and you or you search vaccines are good. And you find all the information on that, right. So it really is confirmation bias to support your feelings and support what you think may or may not be true, and all that information is out there. You know, we’re in a, an all, you know, a super-connected environment right now with with all the networking and social networking and everything, and you can find whatever it is that you want, really so yeah, no, I think this is absolutely one of the issues in in, you know, hesitancy that, that people are, you know, confirmation bias is, is, is confirming that, you know what they already thought, so.

Tony Delisle  1:02:02

Yeah, so many forces, and so many factors that are in play. And, you know, so I want to acknowledge you, again, you know, for being a champion of getting the evidence based information out to people to making sure that it’s accurate, that it’s articulated in a language that people can understand. You could talk way over our heads. And I appreciate you know, when people can have very sophisticated understandings of very complicated processes and procedures, like you do in your arena, and then are able to come out and communicate it in a language that people can understand and act on, I think it’s very valuable, and really appreciate you being able to take the time to come connect with us again, and circle back and give us your take on what’s happening. And do it in a way that’s very respectful and not dogmatic, I think says a lot about both your expertise and professionalism, but also humanism, and being able to connect with people, and just really appreciate you doing this incredible work and feel very fortunate that you take the time to connect and to share your perspectives of what’s going on at this point in the pandemic.

Dr. Vincent Venditto  1:03:09

Well, I certainly appreciate those comments. I mean, it’s always a pleasure to have these discussions with you. And I always enjoy them. And I actually love listening to your podcast, I learned so much listening to your podcast. Wow. So yeah, I mean, it’s it really is a it’s a fantastic podcast, and I think it’s really a service to the community. And, you know, I try and have the same conversations you have with your other guests. And, you know, I mean, talk to the listeners and try to address some of their concerns. So I want to also applaud you on what you’re doing, because I really think it’s a fantastic service to the community.

Tony Delisle  1:03:43

Wow, that’s very flattering, and humbling for me to hear from you. Thank you for being a listener. Yeah, I appreciate that. One of the things that, yes, it’s important to get this message out. But I also appreciate the process of doing it and having these conversations with people like yourself, I do get a lot out of this. And you’re for me, it’s something that I really take into put into practice for myself for my family, and as a position that I’m holding, you know, where I’ve got to make decisions that people’s health and well being are on the line and then sometimes having to make decisions that aren’t so popular to step into be able to do that, having conversations like this gives me more confidence. So I really, really on a personal, professional level. Appreciate you and what you’re messaging out here and connect with you. Well, all right, well, you know what I would love to say that we will be beyond the pandemic here shortly. And we’ll have a need for you to come back and share where we’re at and where we’re going. But I am confident that we’re going to be asking you to come back and report out to us about where we’re at and where we’re going. You know, being realistic. So I do look forward to having those conversations, but hopefully we’ll won’t have to reach out and have it because we’ll be beyond the pint. 

Dr. Vincent Venditto  1:04:51

That will be great unfortunately.

Tony Delisle  1:04:55

Yeah, we will be too pollyannish about that and be more real holistic and it’ll give us a good excuse to connect again. But thank you so much for coming in and connecting with us and really appreciate your time, your wisdom, your experience, your resilience to putting up with some of your colleagues like my brother over there that you tend to sometimes circulate orbits with, I had to give him dig in with him on this, because he does work up there at the University of Kentucky and did introduce us. Very grateful that he did.

Dr. Vincent Venditto  1:05:26

Yeah, me too. Me too. It’s been a fantastic discussion both times and I look forward to more.

Tony Delisle  1:05:31

Me too. Well, I won’t keep you from doing your good and great work. And so we’ll sign off by saying thank you, and until next time, onward, and upward.

Amy Feutz  1:05:44

Thanks for listening to The Independent Life podcast brought to you by the Center for Independent Living of North Central Florida. If you like what you hear, please rate review and subscribe. And if you know anyone who might benefit from listening, share this podcast and invite them to subscribe to for questions, suggestions, or if you have a story you’d like to share. Please email us at or call us at 352-378-7474. Thanks for joining us. Until next time, support, advocate and empower each other to live the independent life.