Video: Boston doctor discusses whether fully-vaccinated need face masks on planes, trains

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.

Promising research into long-term effects of vaccine

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.

Calls rise for FDA to fully approve COVID-19 vaccines

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.

Even if you’re vaccinated, the delta variant can still impact you

As hospitalizations increase in some parts of the U.S. due to the fast-spreading delta variant and low vaccination rates, vaccination remains the best protection against severe illness from COVID-19 and hospitalization spikes that can affect non-COVID care. Rishi Wadhera, MD, MPP, MPhil (Cardiology, BIDMC) said coronavirus surges disrupted routine screenings, outpatient care, and prescription services throughout the pandemic, including elective procedures and surgeries.

New research on third dose of COVID-19 vaccine offers hope to immunocompromised people

New research shows that a third dose of the vaccine could boost immunity for the roughly 10.5 million immunocompromised people in the United States, including those with autoimmune diseases. But some patients may simply never respond to the vaccine. Dan Barouch, MD, PhD (Center for Virology and Vaccine Research, BIDMC) said there are always vaccine non-responders, even among individuals who are not immunocompromised.

State’s largest health care providers will require all employees to be vaccinated against COVID-19

Several of the state’s largest health care systems said on Thursday that they will require COVID vaccinations for all staff once it is fully licensed by the FDA. Kevin Tabb, MD (CEO, BILH) said in a video message to BILH employees that they have a responsibility to protect each other and their patients.

Unusual Variant of Guillain-Barré Syndrome Linked to COVID Vaccines

Two reports published in the Annals of Neurology detailed cases of an unusual variant of Guillain-Barré syndrome (GBS) associated with the AstraZeneca adenovirus vector COVID-19 vaccine. Seward Rutkove, MD (Neurology, BIDMC) was quoted.

Doc: COVID-19 Delta variant spread contingent on number of people vaccinated

Brian Hollenbeck, MD (Infectious Disease, NEBH) explained what the spread of the COVID-19 Delta variant could mean for people’s health and noted that the potential implications of it becoming the most dominant strain depends on vaccination progress at the time.

Vaccines effective vs variants despite diminished antibodies; kids may be as contagious as adults

Reuters’ roundup of some of the latest scientific studies on the novel coronavirus and efforts to find treatments and vaccines for COVID-19 includes a study by Dan Barouch, MD, PhD (Center for Virology and Vaccine Research, BIDMC) published recently in the journal Nature that explored how vaccines protect against variants despite diminished antibodies.