Everside Health is dedicated to keeping you informed about COVID-19, new variants and vaccines, and up-to-date best practices from trusted sources. Keep yourself, your business, and your loved ones safe by staying informed.
The three most common lineages of Omicron currently are BA.1, BA.1.1 and BA.2. The Omicron variant spreads more easily than earlier variants of the virus that cause COVID-19, including the Delta variant. Persons infected with the Omicron variant can present with symptoms like previous variants. Omicron infection generally causes less severe disease than infection with prior variants, but for some people, it may cause severe disease, needing hospitalization, and could die from the infection. Current vaccines protect against severe illness, hospitalizations, and deaths due to infection with the Omicron variant. However, breakthrough infections in people who are vaccinated can occur. People who are up to date with their COVID-19 vaccines and get COVID-19 are less likely to develop serious illness than those who are unvaccinated and get COVID-19. Some monoclonal antibody treatments are less effective against Omicron’s BA.2 lineage, but continue to work against BA.1 and BA.1.1 lineages.
Data continues to show the importance of vaccination and booster doses to protect individuals both from infection and severe outcomes of COVID-19. During the recent Omicron surge, those who were boosted were 21-times less likely to die from COVID-19 compared to those who were unvaccinated, and 7-times less likely to be hospitalized. CDC continues to recommend that all eligible adults, adolescents, and children 5 and older be up to date on their COVID-19 vaccines, which includes getting an initial booster when eligible.
March of 2021, the CDC updated its recommendations to allow certain immunocompromised individuals and people over the age of 50 who received an initial booster dose at least 4 months ago to be eligible for another mRNA booster to increase their protection against severe disease from COVID-19.
In addition, adults who received a primary vaccine and booster dose of Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen COVID-19 vaccine at least 4 months ago may now receive a second booster dose using an mRNA COVID-19 vaccine.
These updated guidelines are based on the increased risk of severe disease in certain populations including those who are elderly or over the age of 50 with multiple underlying conditions, along with the currently available data on vaccine and booster effectiveness.
The CDC has expanded eligibility of booster doses to those 12 to 15 years old. In addition, they recommend that anyone ages 12 to 17 should receive a booster shot 5 months after their initial Pfizer vaccination series.
No. If you received the Pfizer vaccine, you do not necessarily need to receive the Pfizer booster. Likewise, if you received the Moderna vaccine, you do not necessarily need to receive the Moderna booster. A booster from any of the approved vaccines will work in the same way.
You may prefer to get the same booster as your original vaccine, but it is not required.
The approved boosters are the same formula as the original vaccines. There is no difference between them. You should bring your CDC COVID-19 Vaccination Record card with you to your appointment, so the provider can fill in the info about your booster dose.
Much like your first vaccine, you may experience side effects after receiving your booster. These are normal signs that your body is building protection against COVID-19.
You should contact a healthcare provider if the redness or tenderness where the shot was given gets worse after 24 hours, or if the side effects are worrying and do not seem to be going away after a few days. If you or your child think you may be having a severe allergic reaction after leaving the vaccination site, seek immediate care by calling 911.
If you did not receive a vaccination record card or lost yours, contact the vaccination site where you got your first shot or your state health department to get a card.
A select number of Everside health centers have received the COVID-19 vaccine. We are continually working to expand our capacity and work with federal and state guidelines to offer vaccines to all Everside members.
Your Everside health center will reach out to you when a vaccine is available and help you set up an appointment. We encourage all Everside members to get their COVID-19 booster—or vaccine if they haven’t—at their earliest availability.
You can also use the CDC’s COVID Vaccine Finder for help in locating and schedule a booster or vaccine appointment near you at www.vaccines.gov.
Currently, three vaccines are authorized and recommended in the United States to prevent COVID-19:
- Johnson & Johnson / Janssen
The CDC recommends getting the first vaccine that is available to you. All three vaccines are safe, effective, and reduce your risk of severe illness from the COVID-19 virus.
The CDC is shortening the recommended time for isolation from 10 days for people with COVID-19 to 5 days, if asymptomatic, followed by 5 days of wearing a mask when around others.
For people who are unvaccinated or are more than six months out from their second mRNA dose (or more than 2 months after the J&J vaccine) and not yet boosted, it is now recommended to quarantine for 5 days followed by strict mask use for an additional 5 days. However, individuals who have received their booster shot do not need to quarantine following an exposure but should wear a mask for 10 days after the exposure. For all those exposed, test for SARS-CoV-2 at day 5 after exposure.
New guidance suggest that you should be wearing a well-fitted surgical mask, not cloth masks or gators.
Both the CDC and the FDA recommend use of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines. The known risks of COVID-19 and its possibly severe complications far outweigh the potential risks of having a rare adverse reaction to vaccination.
In most situations, Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna COVID-19 vaccines are preferred over the J&J/Janssen COVID-19 vaccine for primary and booster vaccination. J&J vaccine has an increased risk of a rare event called thrombosis with thrombocytopenia syndrome (TTS). Nearly all reports of this serious condition, which involves blood clots with low platelets, have been in adult women younger than 50 years old.
The J&J/Janssen COVID-19 vaccine may be considered in some situations, including for persons who:
- Had a severe reaction after an mRNA vaccine dose or who have a severe allergy to an ingredient of Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna (mRNA COVID-19 vaccines).
- Would otherwise remain unvaccinated for COVID-19 due to limited access to Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna (mRNA COVID-19 vaccines).
- Wants to get the J&J/Janssen COVID-19 vaccine.
No. The vaccines being produced now will not have any COVID-19 virus in them and therefore cannot give you COVID-19. Some people experience side effects after receiving a vaccine (including the flu vaccine and the COVID-19 vaccine), but these side effects are not the virus. It is impossible to get the COVID-19 virus from the COVID-19 vaccine.
Yes. We do not know how long immunity lasts after an infection, but we do know that this immunity is not permanent. You should still get the vaccine even if you’ve already had COVID-19, but you should wait until you are out of the isolation or acute phase of infection (generally 10 days).
You can discuss with your Everside or local provider on when to get your vaccine or booster, if you’ve recently had COVID-19.
Yes. Pregnant people are more likely to get severely ill with COVID-19 compared with non-pregnant people. If you are pregnant, you can receive a COVID-19 vaccine. Getting a COVID-19 vaccine during pregnancy can protect you from severe illness from COVID-19. If you have questions about getting vaccinated, a conversation with your healthcare provider might help, but is not required for vaccination.
Good hand hygiene and staying home when ill are important measures to help keep loved ones safe.
CDC COVID-19 Community Levels is a new tool to help people decide what prevention steps to take based on the case levels in their area. Levels can be low, medium, or high and are determined by looking at hospital beds being used, hospital admissions, and the total number of new COVID-19 cases in an area. Take precautions to protect yourself and others from COVID-19 based on the COVID-19 Community Level in your area
Remember: Getting vaccinated and practicing these safe measures is not only for your own health. You’re also protecting those around you, especially the elderly, those with chronic conditions, and those who are immune-compromised and may not be eligible for a vaccine.
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