NORTH GEORGIA HEALTH DISTRICT

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    NEWS AND ANNOUNCEMENTS

 NEWS RELEASE FROM THE GEORGIA DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC HEALTH

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:                                                                      
Aug. 13, 2021                                                                                                 
                                                                                                
 
ACIP Recommends Additional COVID Vaccine
for Immunocompromised Individuals

 

Atlanta – Following the FDA’s authorization of an additional COVID vaccine dose for immunocompromised individuals, the CDC’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) is now recommending that certain patients with weakened immune systems receive an additional dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna vaccine. The recommendation does not include J&J vaccine recipients at this time.

The Georgia Department of Public Health (DPH) is awaiting guidance from the CDC that clearly defines what conditions make an individual eligible for an additional dose of vaccine. Once those conditions are known, DPH will establish statewide protocols for health departments administering additional doses of COVID vaccine. Until then, DPH will hold off on administering third doses.

Patients seeking additional doses of vaccine should contact their healthcare provider for guidance and recommendations.

For information about COVID vaccines or to schedule a vaccination appointment visit dph.ga.gov/covid-vaccine.

For updates on COVID-19, follow @GaDPH and @GovKemp on Twitter and @GaDPH and @GovKemp on Facebook.

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Nancy Nydam
Director of Communications
Georgia Department of Public Health
2 Peachtree Street, N.E., 15th Floor
Atlanta, Georgia 30303
(404) 657-2462
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
 
 

More than Ever You NEED COVID 19 Vaccine web banner

No Cost, No Appointment, No ID Required for COVID-19 Vaccine at County Health Depts in North GA!
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North GA – For the many eligible North Georgians who have not yet been vaccinated against COVID-19, local public health officials urge you more fervently than ever to do so immediately.
COVID-19 cases in the North Georgia Health District were on the decline but have now increased significantly. Our counties, which include Cherokee, Fannin, Gilmer, Murray, Pickens and Whitfield, are experiencing moderate to substantial spread as emerging variants, especially the Delta variant, are proving to be more contagious and, in some cases, more serious than previous variants.
The Georgia Department of Public Health (DPH) recently announced that the CDC estimates the Delta variant accounts for 78% of new COVID cases in Georgia as it spreads “more than twice as easily” from person to person, and the highest increases in cases, hospitalizations and deaths are among the unvaccinated.
“This is a disease of the unvaccinated,” said Zachary Taylor, MD, MS, Interim Health Director for the North Georgia Health District. “Getting vaccinated will prevent the spread of COVID-19 and the Delta variant.”
Your local county health department in the North Georgia Health District offers COVID-19 vaccine to Georgians 12 years of age and older, with Pfizer being the only COVID vaccine authorized for children ages 12 to 17. If receiving Moderna or Pfizer vaccine, you will need to return for a second dose to be fully protected. Full protection is reached in an individual two weeks after the final dose. There is no cost for the vaccine. No appointment is needed at county health departments within the health district and no identification is required. Go to www.nghd.org to find your county health department in North Georgia. Contacts for other COVID-19 vaccine providers in the area are available at www.vaccines.gov.

Delta variant banner

TOP 5 THINGS TO KNOW ABOUT COVID-19 AND DELTA VARIANT                             

  1. Getting vaccinated prevents severe illness, hospitalization, and death; it also helps reduce the spread of the virus in communities.
    • Unvaccinated individuals should get vaccinated and continue masking until they are fully vaccinated.
    • With the Delta variant, this is more urgent than ever. The highest spread of cases and severe outcomes is happening in places with low vaccination rates.
  2. Data show Delta is different than past versions of the virus: it is much more contagious.
    • Some vaccinated people can get Delta in a breakthrough infection and may be contagious.
    • Even so, vaccinated individuals represent a very small amount of transmission occurring around the country.
    • Virtually all hospitalizations and deaths continue to be among the unvaccinated.
  3. In areas with substantial and high transmission, CDC recommends that everyone (including fully vaccinated individuals) wear a mask in public indoor settings to help prevent spread of Delta and protect others.
  4. CDC recommends that community leaders encourage vaccination and masking to prevent further outbreaks in areas of substantial and high transmission.
  5. CDC recommends universal indoor masking for all teachers, staff, students, and visitors to K-12 schools, regardless of vaccination status. Children should return to full-time in-person learning in the fall with layered prevention strategies in place.

Click to link to guidelinesCDC 2021 STI Guidelines graphicThe Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has released Sexually Transmitted Infections Treatment Guidelines, 2021. This document provides current evidence-based diagnostic, management, and treatment recommendations, and serves as a source of clinical guidance for managing sexually transmitted infections (STIs).

The new guidelines include notable updates from the previous 2015 guidance, including:

  • Updated treatment recommendations for chlamydia, trichomoniasis, and pelvic inflammatory disease.
  • Updated treatment recommendations for uncomplicated gonorrhea in neonates, children, and other specific clinical situations (e.g., proctitis, epididymitis, sexual assault), which builds on broader treatment changes published in Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report late last year.
  • Information on FDA-cleared diagnostic tests for Mycoplasma genitalium and rectal and pharyngeal chlamydia and gonorrhea.
  • Expanded risk factors for syphilis testing among pregnant patients.
  • Recommended two-step serologic testing for diagnosing genital herpes simplex virus.
  • Harmonized recommendations for human papillomavirus vaccination with the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices.
  • Recommended universal hepatitis C testing in alignment with CDC’s 2020 hepatitis C testing recommendations.

STIs are common and costly to the nation’s health and economy. With 26 million new STIs occurring each year, totaling nearly $16 billion in medical costs, evidence-based prevention, diagnostic, and treatment recommendations are critical to halting continued increases.

The new recommendations come at a pivotal moment in our field’s history. As many of you know all too well, the COVID-19 pandemic caused decreased clinic capacity, as well as drug and diagnostic test kit shortages. Along the way, CDC provided guidance for the disruption of STD clinical services, focusing on syndromic management and STI screening approaches to maximize the number of people with STIs identified and treated, while prioritizing those most likely to experience complications. However, most drug and testing kit shortages have since resolved and many health care providers are returning to normal clinical practices, which includes conducting STI evaluation and management in accordance with CDC Sexually Transmitted Infections Treatment Guidelines, 2021.