• By Jennifer O'Hara

Mayo Clinic Q&A podcast: Experts urge COVID-19 boosters to fight omicron surge

December 15, 2021

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.

Watch: Dr. Poland discuss the latest COVID-19 news.

Read the full transcript.

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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.

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

Research disclosures for Dr. Gregory Poland.

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

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