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FAU Experts Support Vaccination With the Newest COVID-19 Vaccine

In a commentary published in the American Journal of Medicine, researchers from FAU and collaborators provide the most updated guidance to health care providers.

Urgent Need for Vaccination With the Newest COVID-19 Vaccine

Urgent Need for Vaccination With the Newest COVID-19 Vaccine


The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices recently recommended vaccination with the COVID-19 vaccines that had been granted Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on Sept. 11. These EUAs were issued to Moderna and Pfizer for their new and updated mRNA COVID-19 vaccines to combat the increasingly prevalent new variant for which prior natural or acquired immunity does not confer protection.

In a commentary published in the American Journal of Medicine , researchers from Florida Atlantic University’s Schmidt College of Medicine and collaborators provide the most updated guidance to health care providers.

“The war on COVID-19 continues to be fought valiantly and selflessly by health care professionals in communities and hospitals across the nation.,” said Allison H. Ferris, M.D., senior author, chair of the Department of Medicine, and program director of the internal medicine residency program, FAU Schmidt College of Medicine. “As competent and compassionate physicians, we must redouble our efforts to promote evidence-based clinical and public health practices, including vaccination of all eligible U.S. adults and children with the new vaccine."

A large body of reliable randomized evidence indicates that the benefits of COVID-19 vaccination on mortality and hospitalizations vastly outweigh the risk for all individuals aged 6 years and older. Moreover, vaccination of children eligible to receive the new COVID-19 vaccine will have major clinical and public health impacts by reducing their hospitalizations and deaths as well as those of their parents, grandparents, childcare providers and schoolteachers. While the absolute risks of severe COVID-19 are low in youths, the benefit to risk ratio is favorable toward vaccination. 

In addition, COVID-19 vaccines are readily available and accessible with minimal out-of-pocket expenses. These favorable circumstances result from the collaborations between the pharmaceutical industry, the FDA, the CDC, as well as federal and private insurers. The updated COVID-19 vaccines are now readily available at most pharmacies, and sources can be accessed at Vaccines.gov.  Health providers can reassure their patients that the Affordable Care Act mandates that insurance companies reimburse the cost for the updated vaccine for COVID-19 as well as all vaccines that are endorsed by the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices. Further, the CDC’s Bridge Access Program for both underinsured and uninsured patients from participating providers, health centers and pharmacies.  In addition, uninsured children are covered by the Vaccines for Children Program.

“In the face of continuing opposition to masking, social distancing and crowd avoidance in the U.S., vaccination is the best defense against a new emerging strain,” said Charles H. Hennekens, M.D., Dr.P.H., co-author, and the first Richard Doll Professor and senior academic advisor to the dean in the Charles E. Schmidt College of Medicine at FAU. “This approach coupled with a prescription of Paxlovid as needed during the first five days following infection will also further reduce hospitalizations and deaths.” 

Study co-authors are Sarah K. Wood, MD, FAAP, M.D., senior author, director of the Harvard Macy Institute at Harvard Medical School and former professor of pediatrics and vice dean for medical education, FAU Schmidt College of Medicine.  Dennis G. Maki , M.D., Ovid O. Meyer professor of medicine, director of the COVID-19 Intensive Care Unit and an internationally renowned infectious disease clinician and epidemiologist from the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health and Mia Glickman, second year medical student, FAU Schmidt College of Medicine.

Maki and Hennekens served together for two years as lieutenant commanders in the U.S. Public Health Service as Epidemic Intelligence Service (EIS) officers with the CDC. They served under Alexander D. Langmuir, M.D., who created the EIS and epidemiology program at the CDC, and Donald A. Henderson, M.D., chief of the virus disease surveillance program at the CDC. Langmuir and Henderson made significant contributions to the eradication of polio and smallpox using widespread vaccinations and public health strategies.

-FAU-

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