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COVID boosters and what you need to know before holiday gatherings

COVID boosters and what you need to know before holiday gatherings

Stephanie Sy:

Judy, starting this weekend, boosters will now be available for any of the three federally approved vaccines. At least 10 states had already made this change as COVID cases rise, up 33 percent in the last two weeks.

For the moment, death rates are stable, but the country is still averaging more than 1, 100 deaths a day.

For more on what we should know. I’m joined by Dr. Robert Wachter, chair of the Department of Medicine at the University of California at San Francisco.

Dr. Wachter, thank you for joining us on the “NewsHour.”

Let’s get right to it.

Would you at this point advise every adult to get a booster shot, and why or why not?

Dr. Robert Wachter, University of California, San Francisco: I would. I got mine a month or so ago. But I have advised my 28- and 30-year-old healthy children to get them as well.

The boosters do three things. First of all, we now know that the efficacy of the original shots does wane, starts waning at about five months and wanes more the more time goes on. And the boosters do three things. One is, they prevent mild infections, but mild infections can lead to long COVID.

The second is, they can prevent severe infections, which can lead to hospitalization and death. And the third is, they keep the community safer. They decrease the amount of COVID in the community.

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