Ask the experts: Vaccine boosters, the combined threat of coronavirus and the flu, and a new pill that could change the COVID treatment landscape
Medical experts answer your questions about all things related to COVID-19, from vaccine boosters and the latest coronavirus treatment developments to the looming threat of flu season this winter during the pandemic.
The CDC recently released recommendations regarding booster shot eligibility, which currently includes people over 65, residents in long-term care settings, individuals age 18-64 who have underlying health conditions or are immunocompromised, and frontline workers who are at increased risk for COVID-19 exposure and transmission.
What does the public need to know about boosters? What is the difference between previous shots and boosters? How much more protection does the latter offer? Will getting another shot help prevent breakthrough cases of the more transmissible delta variant?
When will boosters be available to the general population? Where are Moderna and Johnson & Johnson with booster approvals? What's the latest on vaccines for kids 11 and under?
Experts say that this year could mark an intense flu season, as many hospitals continue to be overwhelmed with COVID patients. What should the public know about the possibility of a "twindemic" of influenza and COVID this winter?
How important is it to get a flu shot and when should you do it? Can you get a COVID-19 vaccine and a flu shot at the same time?
Experts say a new antiviral pill could change the game for people diagnosed with COVID-19, as initial results show that the 5-day course of treatment reduced both hospitalization and death compared to a placebo. How effective is this pill and when could it be available to patients?
- Jason Bowling, MD, associate professor of infectious diseases at UT Health San Antonio, director of hospital epidemiology for University Health, and a fellow of the Infectious Diseases Society of America
- Katelyn Jetelina, Ph.D., MPH, epidemiologist with UTHealth School of Public Health in Dallas and author of the "Your Local Epidemiologist" blog
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*This interview was recorded on Wednesday, October 6.