Brian L. Strom, chancellor at the Rutgers Biomedical and Health Sciences and executive vice president for Rutgers Health Affairs, is available to discuss the COVID-19 booster shot and why frontline workers need to get them.
Strom agrees with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s director and the decisions of the FDA and its advisory board that COVID-19 boosters should be recommended for frontline workers, the elderly who received their vaccines more than six months ago, those ages 50-64 years with underlying medical conditions, and those 18-49 years with underlying medical conditions based on their benefits and risks.
“We are in the fortunate situation that our vaccines remain remarkably effective at preventing hospitalization and death for most people, and therefore without question, our highest priority needs to remain to get all unvaccinated people vaccinated,” said Strom. “However, I also agree that COVID-19 boosters should be recommended for those ages 18-64 who are at greater risk because of their occupational or institutional settings, such as health care workers, caregivers for those at high risk, and people in correctional facilities. While the data are not 100 percent convincing yet on the last category, we are seeing increasing numbers of breakthrough infections, and we cannot afford as a society to wait until the data are crystal clear before mounting a response or the pandemic risks getting much worse in the meantime.”
Rutgers Biomedical and Health Sciences (RBHS) takes an integrated approach to educating students, providing clinical care and conducting research, all with the goal of improving human health. Aligned with Rutgers University–New Brunswick, and collaborating university-wide, RBHS includes eight schools, a behavioral health network and four centers and institutes. RBHS offers an outstanding education in medicine, dentistry, pharmacy, public health, nursing, biomedical research and the full spectrum of allied health careers. RBHS clinical and academic facilities are located throughout the state.