Dec. 17, 2020, was a day of celebration for Chantal Branco, MSN, RN, Director, Patient Care Services at Lehigh Valley Health Network (LVHN). After nearly 10 months of working with COVID-19 patients in the intensive care unit (ICU), she was the first person at Lehigh Valley Health Network (LVHN) to receive a dose of the COVID-19 vaccine.
“I just remember feeling like, finally, I have some protection. It was easier to come to work without that sense of angst and nerves. I was confident that not only was I protecting myself and others with our PPE, but also my immune system was doing its job,” says Branco.
However, the vaccine didn’t put an end to her COVID-19 safety precautions. Even after being vaccinated, Branco and her colleagues continued to wear protective gear and keep each other in check by doing a once over before they went into a patient room. Recently, Branco and many of her other colleagues received the COVID-19 booster as well.
Both Moderna and Pfizer now offer a COVID-19 booster for anyone who is outside the six-month window of their initial vaccination series. A booster also is available after two months for those who received the Johnson and Johnson vaccine.
Studies have shown the efficacy of the Moderna and Pfizer vaccine wanes after six months. The boosters are effective against the Delta and Omicron variants and protects against both severe disease and death from COVID-19. Currently, 97% of all COVID-19 cases nationwide are the Delta variant.