SILVER SPRING, MD – The American Nurses Association (ANA) applauds the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) authorization of the Moderna and Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine booster shots for eligible individuals. Regulating bodies also approved the “mixing and matching” of COVID-19 vaccines, which will allow individuals to get a booster shot from different drugmakers outside of the one that provided their initial doses. These recent actions, made on the heels of the Pfizer-BioNTech booster authorization, denote another critical step in getting millions of Americans enhanced and long-term protection against COVID-19.
Ongoing clinical trials, research, and evidence continue to demonstrate that authorized COVID-19 vaccines are extremely safe and effective in protecting fully vaccinated individuals from catching and spreading COVID-19 as well as preventing severe symptoms, hospitalization and even death. And emerging evidence shows that a COVID-19 vaccine booster shot offers an increased and durable defense against the virus. ANA President Ernest J. Grant, PhD, RN, FAAN, who participated in Phase III COVID-19 vaccine clinical trial, reiterated that mass vaccination is a vital component of effective public health measures.
“The collaborative partnerships and swift precision to distribute COVID-19 vaccines are vital components of effective public health measures,” said Dr. Grant, “and demonstrate a steadfast commitment to recover from this stubborn pandemic. The authorization of 3 brands of boosters, enables more people, especially those at higher risk due to their occupation and work environment, to readily easily access a booster shot. Widespread and convenient access to vaccines is both a significant victory and proven scientific strategy that can help relieve pressure on exhausted nurses who have been providing care in overwhelmed health care systems for nearly 2 years.”
Findings from a recent survey conducted by ANA in conjunction with the COVID Vaccine Facts for Nurses campaign in July of 2021, indicate that most nurses are willing to get a booster shot of the COVID-19 vaccine. Nurses must also have timely access to up-to-date resources and be included in plans to administer COVID-19 vaccine booster shots.
“I am encouraged that more nurses will be able to receive a COVID-19 vaccine booster,” said Dr. Grant. “The world has lost too many nurses to COVID-19. Nurses deserve and must have the highest level of protection available to continue providing safe patient care, administering COVID-19 vaccines, and educating the public about the importance of immunization against vaccine-preventable diseases.”
Even with natural immunity, vaccination enhances immune response and provides additional protection in the absence of clear data that indicates the duration and strength of natural immunity. ANA continues to urge nurses, all health care professionals, and the public to get vaccinated against COVID-19. Enough individuals and communities must get vaccinated to eventually end the pandemic.
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The American Nurses Association (ANA) is the premier organization representing the interests of the nation's 4.3 million registered nurses. ANA advances the profession by fostering high standards of nursing practice, promoting a safe and ethical work environment, bolstering the health and wellness of nurses, and advocating on health care issues that affect nurses and the public. ANA is at the forefront of improving the quality of health care for all. For more information, visit www.nursingworld.org.
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