Masked doctor

Americans are ‘mixing and matching’ Covid vaccines over concerns about the delta variant

Some Americans say they are finding ways to get additional doses of the COVID-19 vaccines, with some even going as far as receiving the extra shots from different companies. Dan Barouch, MD, PhD of Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center said there’s limited data on the safety or efficacy of this approach and that there are theoretical benefits in terms of the immune responses and potential improvement of efficacy. (CNBC, July 26, 2021)

Emergency room entrance to a hospital

With delta variant, flu season looming, hospitals urge vaccinations

Beverly Hospital is seeing very low COVID-19 hospitalization rates and no more than a couple of new cases arriving daily. But Mark Gendreau, MD of Beverly & Addison Gilbert Hospitals said that as a more contagious Delta variant of the coronavirus accounts for 83% of cases in the U.S., there are still roughly 100 million people who have either not had the vaccine or don’t have any form of natural immunity from having COVID infection. (Gloucester Daily Times, July 25, 2021)

Masked doctor

What to know about antibody tests in a post-vaccine world

While the CDC reminded consumers to not use commercial antibody tests to check whether or not they are immune to COVID-19, scientists are still searching for a "correlate of protection" – a marker in the blood that would reliably indicate protection. Dan Barouch, MD, PhD of Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center said the correlates of protection are not known, and so it is not known whether a positive antibody test after COVID-19 infection represents protection against any variant, including the delta variant. (ABC, July 24, 2021)

COVID-19 Vaccine

Covid surge puts wrinkle in some employers’ return-to-office plans

The rise in Covid-19 cases nationwide due to the new, more-contagious Delta variant is spurring some Boston-area employers to rethink plans to come back after Labor Day. While continuing to monitor the situation, Beth Israel Lahey Health currently plans to bring many employees who have been working remotely back to the office on a part-time basis starting Sept. 7. (Boston Business Journal, July 23, 2021)

Masked doctor

We’re zeroing in on the ‘holy grail’ of COVID-19 immunity

Scientists may be on the cusp of defining correlates – biological benchmarks that can show that a vaccine is achieving its desired effect – of protection against symptomatic disease for the COVID-19 vaccines. Kathryn Stephenson, MD, MPH of Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center comments on the process and timeline of these determinations. (Atlantic, July 21, 2021)

COVID-19 Vaccine

If you got the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, do you need another dose?

Findings posted on the online preprint server bioRxiv suggest the coronavirus vaccine made by Johnson & Johnson is less effective against the Delta and Lambda variants than against the original virus. The study has not yet been peer-reviewed nor published in a scientific journal. Last week, researchers from Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center reported in the New England Journal of Medicine that the antibody response from the Johnson & Johnson vaccine did work well against the delta variant and that the immune response lasted eight months. (NBC News, July 21, 2021)