The chair of the Infection Prevention Committee on Wentworth-Douglass Hospital’s Medical Staff is embracing current recommendations that people get a booster shot for their COVID-19 vaccinations.

Dr. Artemio John Mendoza is also an infectious disease physician at Wentworth Health Partners Summit Infectious Disease located on Central Avenue in Dover.

Mendoza said the COVID-19 pandemic is an ongoing thing.

"We know that at some point there's going to be waning immunity and the fact that we haven't controlled it yet, despite our vigorous measures with vaccination and with all of the mitigation factors, it's something that needs to be addressed. So the bottom line here is that, yes, I actually embrace it. I was very glad to hear that that recommendation would be expanded further to include everybody," Mendoza said.

Courtesy Photo

Health officials announced last week that all people who were vaccinated should receive a booster shot eight months after their second dose of an mRNA vaccine. 

Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna are both mRNA vaccines.

On Monday, officials at the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved the first COVID-19 vaccine.

The Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine will now be marketed as Comirnaty, for the prevention of COVID-19 disease in individuals 16 years of age and older.

The vaccine also continues to be available under emergency use authorization, including for individuals 12 through 15 years of age, and for the administration of the third dose in certain immunocompromised individuals.

Employees at Wentworth-Douglass Hospital in Dover will be required to get vaccinated.

Wentworth-Douglass Hospital is part of Massachusetts General Hospital and last month Mass General Brigham announced that it is requiring its 80,000 employees to be vaccinated against COVID-19.

The New Hampshire Hospital Association is supporting hospitals and other healthcare facilities that mandate COVID-19 vaccination for their employees.

Portsmouth Regional Hospital and Frisbie Memorial Hospital in Rochester will not be requiring employees to get vaccinated for COVID-19 as a condition of employment.

Lynn Robbins is the director of marketing and communications at Portsmouth Regional Hospital. She said on Aug. 12 that employees at HCA Healthcare in New Hampshire are strongly encouraged to get vaccinated.

"While colleagues at Frisbie Memorial Hospital, Parkland Medical Center and Portsmouth Regional Hospital are not required to be vaccinated for COVID-19 at this time, our infectious disease experts as well as those at the CDC are strongly encouraging vaccination as a critical step to protect individuals from the virus. Our hospitals follow guidance outlined by the CDC regarding protocols for vaccinated and unvaccinated individuals in our facilities, including universal masking for all colleagues, patients and visitors," Robbins said.

Robbins said on Thursday that they advocate for everyone to get vaccines and boosters as they are available, and to follow the CDC guidelines.

During his COVID-19 press briefing on Aug. 12, Gov. Chris Sununu encouraged employers to speak with employees before mandating vaccination.

"The most important thing is to talk to the employees. Don't just make a decision in a vacuum," Sununu said when asked.

Sununu acknowledged that the decision to get vaccinated is a personal one.

Contact Managing News Editor Kimberley Haas at Kimberley.Haas@townsquaremedia.com.

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