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A boost in protection is needed to offset the persistent disparities in the toll of COVID between racial and ethnic groups.
People at lower risk may not need an updated booster, but without a CDC recommendation, insurance companies wouldn’t have to cover it.
People ages 6 months and older are eligible for new Moderna and Pfizer-BioNTech boosters targeting XBB.1.5 omicron variant.
Vaccine type, older age, male sex and especially smoking were associated with lower antibody responses.
People 65 and older and immunocompromised people can get a second bivalent booster; most unvaccinated people now need only one initial shot.
Older people, immunocompromised people and those with underlying health conditions can benefit most from additional shots.
Updated boosters could go to the “worried well” who have good insurance rather than to those at highest risk.
The largest peer-reviewed study of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID vaccine in cancer patients finds no more, and no different, side effects.
An NIH-sponsored study assessed boosters for adults fully vaccinated with any authorized or approved COVID-19 vaccine.
Paxlovid dramatically reduced the risk of severe illness and death, but it must be started soon after developing symptoms.
Vaccine effectiveness for children ages 5 to 11 was 91%, and serious side effects are rare.
People with blood cancers and those on chemotherapy may not respond adequately to their first two vaccine doses.
Many people who received any of the authorized COVID-19 vaccines are now eligible for an additional dose of their choice.
Third booster dose may improve immune response in cancer patients without sufficient protection after second dose.
Third dose OK’d for people over 65, those at risk for severe COVID-19 and those at high risk of exposure to the coronavirus.
Natural immunity and vaccine responses may be weaker in people with immune suppression, so they should get their second dose promptly.
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