As with every state across the country, Pennsylvania is seeing an increase in COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations as the Delta variant of COVID-19 continues to grow and counties enter the “Substantial Spread” designation level of COVID from the CDC.
As of this week, PA Dept of Health reports that there are now 847 patients being treated in hospitals for COVID-19, up from about 250 just one month ago and more than 2,000 new COVID-19 cases.
We wanted to highlight what is coming regarding 3rd vaccine shot, vaccine efficacy and breakthrough cases, and what Pennsylvania can expect as we approach September.
3rd dose of vaccine coming as immunocompromised adults will receive shots first
Last week, Moderna warned that breakthrough infections were on the rise and those who received its vaccine would likely need a 3rd dose before winter. Pfizer also said an extra dose is already in testing and would be effective against the delta variant.
The CDC advisory group amended the emergency use authorizations for the Pfizer and the Moderna Covid-19 vaccines for a third shot for immunocompromised people.
An estimated 2.7 percent of adults in the United States are immunocompromised, according to the CDC and may include organ transplant recipients, people undergoing cancer treatment and people with HIV, and others.
An additional dose in immunity would likely be welcome to those who never had a good response from the first two shots, as doctors have continued to advise such patients to continue with physical distancing and mask use despite the vaccinations.
As winter approaches, we may see the 3rd shot be recommended for more adults and CNS Occupational Medicine is ready to help vaccinate today using our drive-up testing and vaccination model. It has also been approved that you can receive both your a COVID vaccine shot and a flu shot, in seperate arms, at the same time. If you need a vaccine or flu shot, reach out to CNS OccMed today.
If you are immunocompromised, check with your doctor about where to get your shot. CNS OccMed is requesting a doctors note approving your 3rd shot at our location.
What happens if I lose my card?
There is no need to worry about getting a replacement COVID vaccination card. The Pennsylvania Department of Health manages the Pennsylvania Statewide Immunization Information System (PA-SIIS), which is an immunization registry that collects vaccination history information.
You can fill out the AUTHORIZATION FOR RELEASE OF IMMUNIZATION RECORDS form on the PA Dept of Health website and provide a copy of a photo I.D. to have your vaccination records emailed or mailed to you. You can also email the staff at: DHPASIIS@PA.GOV.
Understanding vaccine efficacy with Delta variant and breakthrough cases
Breakthrough infections still account for a very small share of new COVID hospitalizations, but that share is rising significantly in recent weeks as New Jersey saw breakthrough cases accounted for 3% of all new hospitalizations.
While this is evidence that vaccines work, many vaccinated worry that even just 3% of breakthrough cases is high and trending from .004% just before this recent spike.
The CDC has said the risk of infection is 8x higher in the unvaccinated than the vaccinated, and the risk of hospitalization or death is 25x higher.
It is interesting to note that, according to a new Mayo Clinic study that is awaiting a full review, the risk of suffering a breakthrough COVID-19 infection with the delta variant after being fully vaccinated with the Moderna vaccine may be much lower than the risk for those who received the Pfizer vaccine,
The study found that in July in Florida, where COVID cases are at an all-time high and the delta variant is prevalent, the risk of a breakthrough case was 60% lower for Moderna recipients as compared to Pfizer recipients.
PA state health care workers must be vaccinated or tested weekly, may expand to all healthcare workers
This week, Gov. Tom Wolf said that all Pennsylvania state workers who are employed in health care facilities or other “high-risk” settings will be required to get vaccinated or be tested weekly for COVID-19, affecting 25,000 state workers.
The requirement covers state employees working in 24-hour state facilities including state hospitals, state homes for people with intellectual disabilities, veterans homes, community health centers and state correction institutions.
Those workers will need to be vaccinated by Sept. 7 or they will undergo weekly coronavirus tests.
This also follows New Jersey requiring all unvaccinated healthcare workers, starting Sept. 7thprovide proof of weekly testing. Pennsylvania may follow suit, which would affect employers like dentists, home health agencies, nursing homes, and others who have large healthcare work forces that may not have access to easy testing.
How can you help? A Call To Vaccinate from Tom Baldrige, President & CEO of the Lancaster Chamber
How many people does it take to get Lancaster fully-vaccinated?
Could it be the 10 million-plus physicians throughout the United States that urge their patients to get the shot?
Might it be the 12,000-plus local health care providers that are putting themselves on the front-line every day to battle a pandemic that now, effectively, has a cure?
Perhaps it’s the 16,000 local educators who want to teach our children in a classroom without worry?
Maybe it’s the growing number of employers who are requiring vaccines as a means of ensuring their workers and customers remain safe?
How about considering it for my two grandchildren who aren’t old enough to get the shot and, therefore, have to continue to take mitigation measures to protect themselves and others as COVID returns with a vengeance?
And, most tragically, what about considering it to honor the growing number of local citizens who have contracted the virus and state, “I wish I would have gotten the vaccine” as they suffer through hospitalization?
Again, how many people does it take?
Truth is, it takes one. You.
CNS Occupational Medicine offers services to contribute to your company’s Return to Work Plan, including pre-shift screenings meant to test employees before starting their shifts. Risking the health of your employees and your business is not worth it.
- COVID-19 Vaccine
- Pre-hire screenings
- Pre-employment DOT Physicals and HAZWOPER Physicals
- Pre-Shift Screenings
- Audiometric testing
- Respiratory/Spirometry Physicals
- Drug and alcohol testing programs
- OSHA compliant services
- Flu Vaccinations
- Antibody Testing
- COVID-19 PCR Tests (99.9% accuracy, 24-48 hour turnaround)
- Rapid Antigen Testing
- and more
Start your customized health plan to meet your business needs and keep your employees healthy and safe.