Pfizer and BioNTech have released initial data from a study on booster shots for their COVID-19 vaccine, saying a third dose delivered about six months after the second shot has shown neutralization titers are five to 10 times higher than after two primary doses. The FDA and the CDC will determine if and when booster shots will be allowed. Dan Barouch, MD, PhD (Center for Virology and Vaccine Research, BIDMC) told ABC News in late May that the pharmaceutical companies have an economic incentive and that a decision on booster shots should be made based on public health solely and not on economic incentives of the companies.
In this Psychiatry Times feature by Elizabeth LaSalvia, MD (Psychiatry, BIDMC), Jason Maley, MD (Pulmonary Disease, BIDMC) and Matcheri Keshavan, MD (Psychiatry, BIDMC), the authors examine the long-term mental health effects of COVID-19, with one in three COVID-19 survivors having persistent neurological and/or psychiatric issues. BIDMC has recently launched the Critical Illness and COVID-19 Survivorship Program that aims to integrate care among pulmonary, critical care, sleep medicine, psychiatry, cognitive neurology, neurology, geriatrics, social work, and physical and occupational therapy clinicians.
In an effort to ease tensions about getting children vaccinated this summer, during a virtual town hall for the cities of Somerville, Cambridge, Chelsea, and Framingham, Treniece Lewis Harris, PhD (Psychology, BIDMC) said that primary care doctors should have the training to listen to families about where they are coming from and to help educate them on the vaccine, and any other fears they may have.
The Delta variant continues to spread and now makes up a quarter of all New England cases. Sharon Wright, MD, MPH (Infection Protection, BILH) and other experts joined WBUR to answer questions on viruses, vaccines, and variants.
Dan Barouch, MD, PhD (Center for Virology and Vaccine Research, BIDMC) discusses if it is necessary to receive a COVID-19 vaccine booster shot and if they increase immune responses.
Johnson & Johnson announced that its COVID-19...
Preeti Mehrotra, MD (Infection Control, BIDMC) spoke to whether the CDC should update its face mask guidance for fully-vaccinated travelers and said that current vaccination rates, evidence of transmission on public transportation, and global vaccination rates for international travel should be evaluated when considering mask guidance updates.
A new study suggests the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines might offer protection for years even without a booster shot, but variants remain a wild card. The delta variant has now been identified in 49 states, and is especially dangerous to those who are not vaccinated. Dan Barouch, MD, PhD (Center for Virology and Vaccine Research, BIDMC) said data suggests that some level of immunity will be long lasting and how that translates into actual protection remains to be determined.
Last week, major hospital systems in Boston, including BILH, announced COVID-19 vaccines will be a requirement for employees and as a condition of employment. Kevin Tabb, MD (CEO, BILH) explained that because some staff might feel more comfortable getting COVID-19 vaccine after it has been formally licensed by the FDA, the hospital system won’t require the vaccine until the emergency use authorization is lifted.