Experts urge COVID-19 boosters to fight omicron surge

Dec 15, 2021 | Jennifer O'Hara | @jenohara | Comments (15)

More Americans are now eligible for COVID-19 booster doses as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention approved the Pfizer vaccine booster for 16- and 17-year-olds late last week. Previously, only those 18 and older were eligible.

Early research suggests that a booster dose of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine improves protection against severe disease caused by the omicron variant, according to Pfizer.

Mayo Clinic experts say, regardless of the variant, prevention of infection works. Getting a booster offers the highest protection possible against COVID-19.

"Omicron infection rates are picking up rapidly," says Dr. Gregory Poland, head of Mayo Clinic's Vaccine Research Group. "If we do not take the proper precaution over the holiday, we are going to see a January omicron surge."

Dr. Poland explains that there are two threats — delta and omicron COVID-19 variants — but there is a solution. "Masking and boosting — those are key to protecting yourself and your family."

On the Mayo Clinic Q&A podcast, Dr. Poland discusses the latest on COVID-19 variants and shares advice on how to stay safe this holiday season.

To practice safe social distancing during the COVID-19 pandemic, this interview was conducted using video conferencing. The sound and video quality are representative of the technology used. For the safety of its patients, staff and visitors, Mayo Clinic has strict masking policies in place. Anyone shown without a mask was recorded prior to COVID-19 or recorded in an area not designated for patient care, where social distancing and other safety protocols were followed.

Read the full transcript.

Research disclosures for Dr. Gregory Poland.

Connect with others talking about the pandemic and supporting one another in the COVID-19 support group.

Information in this post was accurate at the time of its posting. Due to the fluid nature of the COVID-19 pandemic, scientific understanding, along with guidelines and recommendations, may have changed since the original publication date.

For more information and all your COVID-19 coverage, go to the Mayo Clinic News Network and mayoclinic.org.

Interested in more newsfeed posts like this? Go to the Podcasts blog.

@jsakell @skinner @mpeters @josephgreco, Dr. Poland answers your questions in today's podcast.

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Yes, I’m very happy to get his answer. Thank. You.

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If I had a very severe neuropathy response to my second moderna vaccine, is it still advised that I get a booster? As a professional musician, I'm terrified that it will make my symptoms worse (it's been 8 months and I'm recovering but not back to normal). Thank you, Jen

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I would like to know why the News Media underplays the number of adverse reactions to the Vaccines. I think there should be more info made available regarding adverse reactions as well as the benefits of vaccines in general.

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@colleenyoung

@jsakell @skinner @mpeters @josephgreco, Dr. Poland answers your questions in today's podcast.

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I received my third shot (I am immunocompromised) in early September, so nearly 4 months ago. Has any research indicated that a fourth shot or additional booster will be recommended 6 months after the third shot?

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@gaylekse

I received my third shot (I am immunocompromised) in early September, so nearly 4 months ago. Has any research indicated that a fourth shot or additional booster will be recommended 6 months after the third shot?

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Research on that is underway. As with all things Covid, stay tuned for further developments. The Mayo Podcasts and Blogs are updated weekly with the latest information, so this is a good place to come.
If you click "Follow" at the top of the page, you will be notified for each new News or odcast update.
Sue

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@gaylekse

I received my third shot (I am immunocompromised) in early September, so nearly 4 months ago. Has any research indicated that a fourth shot or additional booster will be recommended 6 months after the third shot?

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Hi Gail- I haven't heard any reference to a 4th shot. I think that we just have to wait and see. I'm happy to hear that you got a third shot. So did I.

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@gaylekse

I received my third shot (I am immunocompromised) in early September, so nearly 4 months ago. Has any research indicated that a fourth shot or additional booster will be recommended 6 months after the third shot?

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I have been a faithful follower of Dr. Poland and in last week’s podcast he mentioned a 4th shot for immunocompromised patients.

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I have researched AstraZeneca new monoclonal antibody Evushield. It must be top secret because I cannot locate an infusion center anywhere in Ohio that has any knowledge of this infusion. I meet the guidelines but my PCP has no knowledge of it, and cannot order it for me. Do you know where I can obtain this information?

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I found the Astra Zeneca website that is set up for answering questions. Hopefully they can tell you where it is being sent for use. Here is the website:

Astra-Zeneca-us.com

Above should be lower case, or maybe it doesn’t matter.

Good luck. I admire the fact that you are advocating for yourself.

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Just got my booster last week, how do I get my son to get his first shot, he is stubborn in that are.

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It is a choice we each make for ourselves.

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