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Episodes Breaking down COVID-19 vaccine booster approvals

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Breaking down COVID-19 vaccine booster approvals
September 29, 2021

The path to approvals for a booster dose of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine has seemed complicated. 

"This is a confusing set of recommendations," says Dr. Gregory Poland, an infectious diseases expert and head of Mayo Clinic's Vaccine Research Group. "So let's look at the four groups approved for only the Pfizer booster, thus far. If you got a primary series of the Pfizer vaccine, you're 65 and older, and it's been six months or more, you are eligible for a booster. If you're 50–64 and you have medical conditions that place you at high risk, you are eligible for the booster. If you're 18–49, you may be able to get a booster based on a medical condition and if you talk with your health care provider to weigh risks and benefits. And, finally, for people 18–64 years old, who are health care providers in congregate living situations or who have occupations that place them at high risk for transmission, such as school teachers, they also may be eligible. That should happen very soon."

In this Mayo Clinic Q&A podcast, Dr. Poland talks more about the approval process for COVID-19 vaccine boosters, including for the Moderna and Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccines. He also discusses the possibility that emergency use approval for children, down to age 5, could come before the end of October.