Massachusetts Medical Society: Massachusetts Medical Society urges COVID-19 boosters, masking indoors

Massachusetts Medical Society urges COVID-19 boosters, masking indoors

Since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, the physicians of the Massachusetts Medical Society have followed closely relevant public health data and trends in order to advise our patients and the public about the risk of contracting and spreading the virus.

The recent uptick in infections and positivity rate driven by the BA.5 Omicron subvariant is concerning because it can cause reinfection in those who have been previously infected with COVID-19 and those who have not had a recent booster.

We strongly urge all citizens of the Commonwealth, especially our pediatric population and those over the age of 50, to speak with their health care provider about receiving an initial shot or a booster dose of a COVID-19 vaccine.

The vaccines remain safe, effective and our best tool to prevent severe illness, hospitalization and death, even as the BA.5 subvariant remains the most dominant strain in Massachusetts and the nation.

It is critically important that we make clear that a recent COVID-19 infection – whether three weeks ago or three months ago – does not guarantee subsequent immunity or that a person will not become reinfected if exposed to the BA.5 subvariant. We encourage all individuals to consult with their physicians to assess their own risk and the risk they present to their loved ones should they become infected. When gathering indoors among crowds mask wearing is strongly encouraged as this remains a simple and effective means of decreasing transmission.

Finally, contact your physician or health care provider immediately in the event of a positive test to determine whether treatments like antivirals or monoclonal antibodies are an appropriate option.

-Theodore A. Calianos, II, MD, FACS, President, Massachusetts Medical Society

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