Frontline News, Edition 31August 20, 2021
DELTA VARIANT THREAT INTENSIFIES
BIDEN ADMINISTRATION MANDATES VACCINES FOR NURSING HOME WORKERS.
The Biden Administration announced on Aug. 18 that it will begin offering coronavirus booster shots the week of Sept. 20. The boosters are initially set for Pfizer and Moderna vaccine recipients, with Johnson and Johnson recipients expected to follow. Top health officials made the announcement after months of data indicated that over time, the vaccines’ ability to protect against less serious infections declines and additional protection may be needed against the more virulent delta variant.
Officials said the plan would only be implemented if the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved boosters and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) advisers recommended them.
On the same day, the Biden Administration announced that it would develop new regulations requiring nursing homes to require vaccinations for workers or risk losing federal funds. The move follows an executive order from Governor Andrew Cuomo requiring that all health care workers in New York State must receive at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine by September 27. The mandate will apply to all hospitals, nursing homes, and other congregate settings. (Cuomo’s order did not include clinics or homecare.) Workers can apply for an exemption based on religious or medical reasons. The state will require facilities to develop vaccination policies for all staff.
In an indication of the growing threat and seriousness of the delta variant, vaccination requirements were also recently announced in Maryland and Washington, D.C, which will require health care workers to get vaccinated, and Massachusetts, which had earlier announced mandatory vaccination of nursing home workers. 1199SEIU is following developments closely and will continue to provide information to members as it becomes available.
New York State Governor Cuomo also ordered vaccinations for healthcare workers.
BIDEN ADMINISTRATION WILL BEGIN OFFERING VACCINE BOOSTER SHOTS
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that people who are moderately to severely immunocompromised receive an additional dose of either the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine after the initial two doses. The recommendation was made because people who are moderately to severely immunocompromised are especially vulnerable to COVID-19 and at risk of serious, prolonged illness. Studies indicate some immunocompromised people do not build the same level of immunity after vaccination as non-immunocompromised people; they may benefit from an additional dose to ensure adequate protection against COVID-19.
The Biden Administration also announced that most people should get a booster shot eight months after they received their second shot of either the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine. The first to receive boosters will likely be nursing home residents and healthcare workers. This could begin in September.
You should talk to your healthcare provider about your medical conditions and history to determine whether getting an additional dose now is appropriate for you.
CDC SAYS mRNA COVID-19 VACCINES ARE SAFE FOR PREGNANT PEOPLE
One concern that many people have is whether the COVID-19 vaccines are safe for anyone who is pregnant or considering having a baby in the future. Last week, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released new data showing the vaccines are safe for pregnant people.
The CDC analyzed data from a recent study and did not find an increased risk of miscarriage among pregnant women who received an mRNA COVID-19 vaccine. Pfizer and Moderna are mRNA vaccines. Other data did not find any safety concerns for pregnant people who were vaccinated late in pregnancy or for their babies. Combined, these data and the known severe risks of COVID-19 during pregnancy demonstrate that the benefits of receiving a COVID-19 vaccine for pregnant people outweigh any known or potential risks.
“CDC encourages all pregnant people or people who are thinking about becoming pregnant and those breastfeeding to get vaccinated to protect themselves from COVID-19,” said CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky.
“The vaccines are safe and effective, and it has never been more urgent to increase vaccinations as we face the highly transmissible Delta variant and see severe outcomes from COVID-19 among unvaccinated pregnant people.”