Health Care Update

Provided by Vera Whole Health

Brothers and Sisters:

The information provided below comes directly from our medical professionals:

Updates on COVID-19 vaccines and boosters

• The CDC has made a few updates in their recommendations for COVID-19 vaccines and boosters, based on your primary series of initial vaccinations (for most patients this is 2 shots of Moderna or Pfizer-BioNTech or one shot of Johnson & Johnson (Janssen)

• While the vaccines are very effective, their power begins to reduce over time (by up to 50% over 6 months in some studies). This is what creates the need for booster shots. Based on the vaccine used for the primary series, the recommendations are as follows:

• If your primary series was Pfizer-BioNTech:

  • If you are 18 or older, you should get a booster shot with Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna 5 months after you completed your primary series.
  • If you are 12-17 years old, you should get a booster shot with Pfizer-BioNTech 5 months after you completed your primary series.

• If your primary series was Moderna:

  • If you are 18 or older, you should get a booster shot with Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna 6 months after you completed your primary series.

• If your primary shot was Johnson & Johnson (Janssen):

  • If you are 18 or older, you should get a booster shot with Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna 2 months after your Johnson & Johnson shot.

Updates to isolation and quarantine guidance

• The CDC updated its COVID-19 isolation and quarantine guidance for the general population.

• For a person diagnosed with COVID-19, they should isolate for 5 days followed by 5 days of wearing a mask around others as long as they are asymptomatic or have resolving symptoms.

• Additionally, for someone exposed to COVID-19, the guidance depends on vaccination status.

  • For people who are unvaccinated or more than six months from their second mRNA dose (or more than two months from their J&J vaccine) and not yet boosted in either case, the CDC recommendation is to quarantine for 5 days followed by 5 days of strict mask wearing around others.
  • If the individual is boosted, they do not need to quarantine, but should wear a mask around others for 10 days after their exposure. In both quarantine scenarios, a test for SARS-CoV-2 on day 5 is best practice.

Newly approved medications to help fight COVID-19

• There are two new anti-viral medications that have received emergency use authorization from the FDA to help fight COVID-19 – Paxlovid and Malnupiravir. In studies, Paxlovid has shown a 90% decreased in hospitalization and death in high-risk patients, while Malnupiravir showed a 30% decrease.  

• These medications are recommended for patients at high-risk for COVID-19 complications and should be started within 5 days of symptom onset.

  • What makes someone high risk? Age, serious health problems such as heart and lung disease, a weakened immune system, obesity, or diabetes. 

• The availability of both medications in retail pharmacies is expected to slowly increase over the next several weeks. 

It is strongly encouraged to receive vaccinations and boosters for those eligible.

As more information becomes available, we will share it with you.

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