November 18, 2021: Update from Virginia Department of Health website on boosters
From vdh.virginia.gov: Whether or not you need a booster will depend on your individual circumstances and which of the vaccines you received. The CDC’s recommendations are listed below. VDH encourages those with questions to work with their healthcare provider to decide whether they should get a booster dose.
For individuals who received a Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna COVID-19 vaccine, the following groups are eligible for a booster shot at 6 months or more after their initial series:
- 65 years and older
- Age 18+ who live in long-term care settings
- Age 18+ who have underlying medical conditions
- Age 18+ who work or live in high-risk settings
For individuals who received a Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine, booster shots are recommended for those who are 18 and older and who were vaccinated two or more months ago.
September 7, 2021: Virginia Department of Health recommends that the following people be tested for COVID-19·
- People with symptoms or signs of COVID-19 regardless of vaccination status.
- Most people who have had close contact with someone known or suspected to have COVID-19
o Fully vaccinated people should be tested 3-5 days following a known exposure to someone with suspected or confirmed COVID-19, even if you don’t have symptoms.
o People who are not fully vaccinated should be tested immediately after an exposure and again at 5-7 days following exposure if the first test is negative
o People who tested positive for COVID-19 within the past 3 months and recovered, do not need to get tested after exposure as long as they do not have symptoms.
- People who participate in activities that are higher risk for COVID-19 exposure (e.g., travel, attending large events where social distancing is not possible, or being in crowded indoor settings)
- People who have been referred for COVID-19 testing by their healthcare provider or the state/local health department.
- People who plan to travel or who have recently returned from travel with some exceptions for fully vaccinated people
- People who are not fully vaccinated and who plan to visit people at high risk of developing severe COVID-19
While vaccination is the most effective strategy to protect individuals, their family and their community, testing remains an important tool to help identify individuals with illness and monitor trends in COVID-19 infection.
For more information about COVID-19 testing call VDH at (877) 829-4682, 8 a.m.-6 p.m., Monday-Saturday.
August 26, 2021:
The CDC has recommended that masks be worn in indoor public spaces in areas of high transmission. This guidance applies to both vaccinated and unvaccinated individuals. According to the Rappahannock Rapidan Health District (8/24), Culpeper and surrounding counties are considered areas of high transmission. The CDC site offers guidance on the proper handling and cleaning of masks
August 18, 2021:
Joint Statement from HHS Public Health and Medical Experts on COVID-19 Booster Shots
“Based on our latest assessment, the current protection against severe disease, hospitalization, and death could diminish in the months ahead, especially among those who are at higher risk or were vaccinated during the earlier phases of the vaccination rollout. For that reason, we conclude that a booster shot will be needed to maximize vaccine-induced protection and prolong its durability.
“We have developed a plan to begin offering these booster shots this fall subject to FDA conducting an independent evaluation and determination of the safety and effectiveness of a third dose of the Pfizer and Moderna mRNA vaccines and CDC’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) issuing booster dose recommendations based on a thorough review of the evidence. We are prepared to offer booster shots for all Americans beginning the week of September 20 and starting 8 months after an individual’s second dose.” Read the full statement at https://www.cdc.gov/media/releases/2021/s0818-covid-19-booster-shots.html
Information in chart below is current as of mid-July 2021
Update March 15, 2021
Update March 3, 2021
The following information was provided locally by Novant Health UVA Health System Culpeper Medical Center
FAQs on Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 Vaccine
Note: Information is subject to change. This document is current as of March 3, 2021.
Johnson & Johnson and Janssen co-developed a new COVID-19 vaccine. While Johnson & Johnson is the name most know this new vaccine by, it was actually co-developed by Johnson & Johnson and Janssen. Therefore, patients who receive this vaccine will see Janssen in their medical record, not Johnson & Johnson. The one-dose vaccine is safe and effective in preventing hospitalization and death due to COVID-19 with no serious safety concerns.
Is the vaccine safe?
Yes, similar to the Moderna vaccine, the Johnson & Johnson vaccine is safe for people age 18 and older (the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine is authorized for use in people aged 16 years or older). The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) found it to be safe and effective, and they authorized it for emergency use on Feb. 27, 2021. According to Johnson & Johnson, it offers complete protection against hospitalization and death as a result of the virus.
Is the one-dose vaccine as effective as the Moderna or Pfizer?
The one-dose vaccine is effective and can protect people from COVID-19. All three vaccines are 100 percent effective in preventing COVID-19-related hospitalization and death once fully vaccinated. All three vaccines are also extremely effective in preventing symptomatic or severe cases of the virus.
Protection from the vaccine begins about two weeks after receiving the shot. Like other vaccines, it takes time for the body to develop protection.
Why do patients receive one shot instead of two?
The Johnson & Johnson vaccine works differently in the body than the two-dose vaccines, which is why people receive just one dose. This method has been used for many years to develop successful vaccines for use in people.
The one-dose vaccine is a viral vectored vaccine, which uses a harmless type of virus to help the body make a specific protein to trigger an immune response to COVID-19. The two-dose vaccines use messenger RNA, or mRNA, that teach the body how to make a protein to trigger an immune response to COVID-19.
The vaccine is also easier to store than other vaccines. It can be stored at normal refrigerator temperatures for up to three months, meaning we can more easily get it into the community to vaccinate more people against COVID-19.
What are the side effects of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine?
Similar to the two-dose vaccines, people may experience cold-like symptoms, such as headache, body aches, arm pain and tiredness. Fewer than 10 percent of participants experienced a fever and no one in the Johnson & Johnson one-dose study reported a severe allergic reaction.
What are the benefits of one dose?
A single-dose vaccine may be desirable for people who want to complete their immunization schedule quickly, do not want to return for a second dose or have difficulty returning for a second dose. A single-dose vaccine is beneficial for areas where it is difficult to schedule appointments online or store the vaccines.
Does the vaccine protect against new strains or variants of the virus?
Johnson & Johnson is continuing to study effectiveness against new variants. So far, the one-dose vaccine has been more than 80 percent effective at preventing severe disease across United States, Brazil and South Africa populations.
We know the vaccines available now are safe and effective. The most important thing right now is to get as many people as possible vaccinated using the vaccines available so we can better protect people in our communities.
Who was included in the clinical trials for the Johnson & Johnson vaccine?
The clinical trial pool for Johnson & Johnson was diverse. In the United States, 74 percent were White/Caucasian; 15 percent were Hispanic/Latinx; 13 percent were Black/African American; 6 percent were Asian and 1 percent were Native American.
Forty-one percent of participants in the study had health conditions associated with an increased risk for developing severe COVID-19 (overall 41 percent), obesity (28.5 percent), type 2 diabetes (7.3 percent), hypertension (10.3 percent), HIV (2.8 percent). Other immunocompromised participants were also in the study.
Can people choose which vaccine they want to get?
Given the limited amount of vaccine supply available, people are not able to choose the type of vaccine they will receive. All vaccines currently available are safe and protect people against COVID-19. Regardless of which vaccine you receive, you will be better protected than if you did not receive a vaccine. The most important thing right now is to get as many people vaccinated using the vaccines available. Herd immunity will better protect people in our communities.
Sources: Johnson & Johnson
Johnson & Johnson Announces Single-Shot Janssen COVID-19 Vaccine Candidate Met Primary Endpoints in Interim Analysis of its Phase 3 ENSEMBLE Trial | Johnson & Johnson (jnj.com)