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Booster Shots And The COVID Surge

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Ali Mokdad, chief strategy officer for population health at the University of Washington. Photo: Matthew Peddie / WMFE

As the US grapples with a COVID-19 surge driven by the highly infectious delta variant, booster shots are being made available for people who are fully vaccinated. 

The latest numbers reported by the CDC Thursday show 15,402 new cases in Florida, and 17,295 patients hospitalized with COVID statewide.
The US Department of Health and Human Services Pfizer and Moderna booster shots will be available to all Americans by September 20th, with people vaccinated at the start of the rollout- like health care workers and nursing home residents- first in line.  

Dr. Ali Mokdad is a Professor of Health Metrics Sciences at the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) and Chief Strategy Officer for Population Health at the University of Washington.

Mokdad tells Intersection that getting the surge under control means mask wearing, getting vaccinated, and now getting a booster when necessary. 

He says while vaccinations are proving effective in reducing hospitalizations and death, there have been breakthrough infections as immunity wears off. 

“So a booster will definitely ensure that people who are vaccinated will not be part of the circulation of the virus and will not play a role in spreading the virus.”

Mokdad says even some fully vaccinated people are being admitted to hospital- although they aren’t getting as sick as unvaccinated patients. 

“What is really surprising for us was all these mutations is why are we allowing it to happen? I mean, we know if you give this virus a chance, it will mutate and mutate. And then we will run out of Greek alphabet for naming.”

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About Matthew Peddie

Matt Peddie