With COVID-19 Booster Shots Recommended for All US Adults, Infectious Disease Experts Weigh In

Original article from The Brink

The cold weather is forcing people to spend more time indoors, holiday travel is ramping up, and a significant surge of COVID-19 infections is hitting the American Midwest and Northeast regions particularly hard. So it’s perhaps no surprise that US health officials are encouraging everyone eligible to seek out COVID-19 booster shots. Even in highly vaccinated Massachusetts, COVID-19 cases have increased 81 percent in the last two weeks.

With the push for boosters, many people have questions about getting the additional shot and which COVID-19 vaccine to choose: What is the difference between a so-called booster shot, a “third dose” for immunocompromised people, and the two shots in the initial series of Moderna and Pfizer vaccines? Why is it important for everyone—even young, healthy adults without any underlying conditions—to seek out a booster? Is mixing and matching different COVID-19 vaccines effective? And if so, how should people decide which booster will work best for them? What are the risks associated with the COVID-19 vaccines—like the rare mRNA-associated risk of heart inflammation in young men—and do the benefits of getting a vaccine or booster outweigh those risks? And do the vaccines and boosters reduce long COVID symptoms in people who are infected with breakthrough cases?

In this video, infectious disease specialists from Boston University’s Center for Emerging Infectious Diseases Policy & Research (CEID) tackle these commonly asked and complex questions, and more. Kat McAlpine, editor of The Brink, talks with Nahid Bhadelia, founding director of CEID and an infectious diseases physician at Boston Medical Center, BU’s primary teaching hospital, and with Syra Madad, an adjunct faculty member at CEID and senior director of the special pathogens program at NYC Health + Hospitals, which is the nation’s largest public healthcare delivery system.

Click to Watch Full Interview in The Brink