An ABC News article published May 27, 2021 examined the need for and importance of a booster COVID-19 vaccine shot. Many long-term advocates are concerned about how long immunity will last compared with the standard procedure for FDA approval for a booster shot. The long-term care residents were among the first to receive COVID vaccines and likely will then be the first to see immunity wear off. ABC News interviewed Dr. Thaddeus Stappenbeck, chair of the Department of Inflammation and Immunity at Cleveland Clinic, who said, “We don’t have quite all the pieces yet…We don’t know how long immunity lasts in any individual, because we just haven’t had enough experience with this virus.” Clinical trials for booster shots are in the early stages at some vaccine companies. This is good news for long-term care advocates such as the American Health Care Association and National Center for Assisted Living (AHCA), which together represents more than 14,000 long-term care facilities. A representative from AHCA “told ABC News that it will continue to call on public health officials to prioritize the long-term care population in monitoring the effectiveness of the vaccines.”
It is important to stay aware of the potential need for booster shots and to start to plan accordingly.
Stay well and stay tuned!