01-07-2022

Sent on behalf of the Continuity of Operations Task Force

The omicron variant continues to spread quickly and the number of COVID infections is growing at a more rapid pace. The best defensive strategy continues to be vaccination, masking, sanitizing and limiting exposure to large groups, particularly in indoor settings.

As noted in earlier communications, EVMS is implementing a booster vaccine requirement. It is now EVMS policy to require that all employees and students follow the CDC booster guidelines as soon as possible and in no event after Feb. 15, 2022.

All EVMS employees, residents, fellows and students are now required to document through the VAX portal having received a booster shot no later than Feb. 15, 2022. The guidance from CDC on booster shots may be found here. A summary of that guidance follows:

When to get a booster

If you received Pfizer-BioNTech: At least 5 months after completing your primary COVID-19 vaccination series

  • If you received Moderna: At least 6 months after completing your primary COVID-19 vaccination series
  • If you received Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen: At least 2 months after receiving your J&J/Janssen COVID-19 vaccination

Which booster to get

Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna (mRNA COVID-19 vaccines) are preferred in most situations. Use of heterologous booster doses (mix and match) is authorized for those 18 years and older. For a given COVID-19 primary vaccine series, heterologous boosters elicited similar or higher antibody responses as compared to their respective homologous booster responses.

How to find a COVID-19 vaccine or booster

Search vaccines.gov, text your ZIP code to 438829, or call 1.800.232.0233 to find locations near you.

COVID-19 vaccination and SARS-CoV-2 infection

People with known current SARS-CoV-2 infection should defer vaccination at least until recovery from the acute illness (if symptoms were present) has been achieved and criteria to discontinue isolation have been met. Current evidence about the optimal timing between SARS-CoV-2 infection and vaccination isinsufficient to provide more specific guidance.

Additionally, EVMS continues to require masking in all indoor settings. Both procedural masks and cloth face coverings are acceptable in non-clinical areas. That said, all the face coverings that are being worn should have multiple layers, fit snugly and have a nose wire as recommended by the CDC masking guidelines.

Finally, EVMS has implemented the CDC Contingency Recommendations for Healthcare Personnel. This guidance applies to the management of all employees, residents and fellows and students.

We remain grateful for the understanding and support of the EVMS community as we work our way through this unprecedented pandemic.