The latest on COVID-19
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the Delta variant is more contagious and spreads rapidly in crowded public spaces, even among vaccinated individuals. However, COVID-19 vaccines can still help protect against, or at least minimize the severity of illnesses and reduce the risk of hospitalization from, the Delta variant.
Since December 2020, three vaccines were authorized for emergency use in the United States to prevent COVID-19 – Johnson & Johnson, Pfizer and Moderna. In addition, on Aug. 23, 2021, the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA)
granted full approval of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine for people age 16 and older.
With the variant, everyone is at risk of contracting the virus, and those with chronic conditions such as diabetes, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), heart failure, or illnesses that cause immunodeficiencies like HIV and cancer are at the highest risk.
For the most up-to-date information on COVID-19, visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website
Staying Safe During the Surge
We recommend that seniors continue to follow important CDC guidelines such as:
- Wearing a mask in public indoor places to reduce viral transmission;
- Physical distancing;
- Avoiding large, public gatherings or busy crowded areas such as restaurants, bars, fitness centers, vacation spots, or indoor spaces with limited ventilation;
- And washing hands often. (After washing hands) - If soap and water are not readily available, use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands
- If visiting friends or loved ones in a nursing or assisted living facility, make sure to wear a mask and wash hands before and after your visit to protect yourself and the residents of the facility
The CDC recently endorsed
the use of an additional dose of COVID-19 vaccine – a booster shot – for people with moderately to severely compromised immune systems at least 4 weeks after the initial two-dose series. The latest CDC plan
is to offer booster shots for all Americans beginning the week of September 20 and starting eight months after an individual’s second dose. Alignment has already identified members who are immunocompromised by CDC definitions to begin outreach and aid in booster appointments.
As we head into flu season, Alignment also recommends that seniors get both
the COVID-19 vaccine and the flu vaccine. While the CDC has OK’d receiving both vaccines on the same day, general consensus advises that the COVID-19 vaccine should be taken first, with the flu shot taken 2-3 weeks before or after the second COVID-19 vaccine dose. Check with your primary care provider to determine the best schedule for you.
While there is no proven medication or supplements that prevent the spread or contraction of COVID-19, general multivitamins that contain Zinc and Vitamin C are helpful in boosting the immune system.
Medications, such as Ivermectin, are also not proven and the potential side effects and long-term effects of taking such drugs may be harmful to a person’s health.