Several recent studies demonstrate waning COVID-19 vaccine effectiveness coinciding with the Delta variant’s rise to dominance, particularly in the prevention of mild and moderate cases of the disease. The data are complicated and easily misinterpreted, but suffice it to say that “breakthrough” cases of asymptomatic, mild, and moderate COVID-19 are no longer the rare events that the term implies. Although effectiveness against severe disease, hospitalization, and death remains high, public health officials are concerned that this protection is likely to diminish in the coming months, especially among those who are at higher risk or who were inoculated early in the United States’ vaccine roll out. Driven by concerning emerging data, booster shots-which induce a prompt surge in defensive antibodies, augmenting an immune response that has weakened over time-are on the way!
The White House outlined a plan to offer booster shots to the general population beginning in mid-September, FDA authorization and CDC endorsement remain forthcoming. Deerfield is working on plans to bring on-site COVID-19 boosters to our residents and employees just as soon as they are authorized and available.
Additional Dose of COVID-19 Vaccine for the Immunocompromised
The FDA and CDC have cleared the way for people who are moderately to severely immunocompromised to receive an additional dose of mRNA COVID-19 vaccine. People who meet the narrow criteria listed below are not thought to have developed satisfactory immunity following the 2-dose vaccine series and therefore remain vulnerable to serious, prolonged illness should they contract COVID-19.
People immediately eligible to receive an additional dose of COVID-19 vaccine include those who have:
• Been receiving active cancer treatment
• Received an organ transplant and are taking medicine to suppress the immune system
• Received a stem cell transplant within the last 2 years or are taking medicine to suppress the immune system
• Moderate or severe primary immunodeficiency (such as DiGeorge syndrome, Wiskott-Aldrich syndrome)
• Advanced or untreated HIV infection
• Active treatment with high-dose corticosteroids or other drugs that may suppress the immune response