Masked doctor

Health care leaders back vaccine mandates

Peter Healy and Dan Barouch, MD, PhD of Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center and others urged employers to require their workers to get vaccinated against COVID-19, noting the only real protection against the Delta variant of the disease is inoculation. (CommonWealth Magazine, August 10, 2021)

Emergency room entrance to a hospital

Hospitals set deadlines for employee vaccinations as Delta variant infections rise

Massachusetts health systems, including Beth Israel Lahey Health, said Tuesday that their workers must be fully vaccinated by this fall. BILH set a deadline of October 31st. Kevin Tabb, MD, President & CEO of Beth Israel Lahey Health, told employees that the longer BILH waits, the more it put its patients, communities, and one another at risk. (Boston Globe, August 10, 2021)

COVID-19 Vaccine

New data suggest J & J vaccine works against Delta and recipients don’t need a booster shot.

Data from a clinical trial in South Africa suggests single dose of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine is highly effective in preventing severe illness and death from the Delta and Beta variants of the coronavirus. Results also suggest that people who have received one dose of the vaccine don’t need a booster shot. Dan Barouch, MD, PhD of Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center who has led some studies with Johnson & Johnson but was not involved in the trial, said the study was conducted as a real-world efficacy study in one of the most challenging epidemiologic settings, and is very good news for the fight against the global COVID-19 pandemic. (New York Times, August 6, 2021)

Masked doctor

Should you cancel travel plans because of the coronavirus’s delta variant? Ask these questions.

Lin Chen, MD of Mount Auburn Hospital said that if planning to travel, people should consider taking a coronavirus test to be able to show proof of a negative result and plan how they would manage if they tested positive for the coronavirus while at their destination. Chen also cautioned that some foreign venues may not accept a CDC vaccination card as proof of immunization. (Washington Post, August 4, 2021)

COVID-19 Vaccine

The present and future of COVID variants

Robin Colgrove, MD of Mount Auburn Hospital spoke to the threat posed by breakthrough infections and how the hospital is mostly seeing younger people who tend to not be as ill, though there are some cases where people are quite sick. Colgrove also noted that a welcome development is how there are very few hospitalizations amongst totally vaccinated, frail older people with medical conditions. (Harvard Gazette, August 3, 2021)

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)