Statehouse News: Ohio doctors recommend getting COVID-19 boosters now to protect against long-term damage

UC expert says some COVID-19 patients experience brain fog

The Ohio Department of Health recently announced COVID-19 boosters with the new formulation to target Omicron subvariants BA.4 and BA.5 are now available statewide.

The Pfizer booster is available to Ohioans 12-years-old and older and the Moderna vaccine is available to those 18 years and up. Statehouse News reported that doctors are urging Ohioans to get those vaccines now. One of those Ohio doctors is Anna Goroncy, MD, of the Department of Family and Community Medicine at the UC College of Medicine. 

Statehouse News reported that while the newer variants of COVID-19 are less severe than previous ones, there is a growing concern about people who are developing "long COVID."

Anna Goroncy, MD Famliy Medicine

Anna Goroncy, MD, of the Department of Family and Community Medicine at the UC College of Medicine/Photo/Colleen Kelley/UC Marketing + Brand

Goroncy said some people are able to weather COVID-19 itself but are having neurological side effects like brain fog.

"We're basically creating a whole new group that may have long-term disabilities," she said. "We don’t know what that’s going to look like 10 years from now. Certainly, we are seeing the importance of inflammation around things like dementia and other brain disorders so it would make a lot of logical and physiological sense that we may see ongoing cognitive impairment or those people more at risk of cognitive impairment in the future.” 

Ohio Department of Health Director Dr. Bruce Vanderhoff said the best defense against "long COVID" is getting boosted with the vaccine to prevent contracting the virus.

Vanderhoff said Ohioans might need to get an annual COVID-19 vaccine, just like some do with flu vaccines, in the future because the virus isn't going away any time soon.

See the entire story here

Lead photo/Colleen Kelley/UC Marketing + Brand

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