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The Executive Briefing - Tuesday, Sept. 6th

New booster FAQs


  • Pfizer isn’t sharing COVID vaccines for next-gen research. (STAT)
  • China approved the first inhaled COVID vaccine. (BBC)
  • While a fall COVID surge is considered likely, experts believe vaccines, new boosters and prior infections should keep severe illness and deaths significantly lower than previous surges. (CNBC)
  • As new bivalent COVID boosters hit your local pharmacies, the government is deciding what to do with the older boosters. Many will likely be thrown away.  (STAT)
  • New  COVID positive tests are trending downward while COVID deaths have continued to climb again in the US. (NY Times)

MPX News:

  • A new study raises concerns about the effectiveness of the Jynneos vaccine against MPX. (STAT)
  • Colorado is one of several states who are looking at past public health communication failures as they attempt to get MPX messaging right. (Colorado Sun)
  • Wastewater surveillance has become much more targeted in the search for MPX along with polio and COVID. (CNN)

Public Health News:

  • The mystery pneumonia in Argentina turned out to be due to Legionella bacteria, which causes Legionnaires’ Disease. (PAHO)
  • West Baltimore has a boil water order after E.coli was found in the water supply. (Baltimore Sun)
  • The E.coli outbreak linked to Wendy’s has spread to two additional states: NY and KY. (NPR)
  • The WHO, acknowledging that we don’t have good data on the cost of foodborne illness, is looking to quantify the burden of 14 specific food borne diseases and contractors to help with the research. (WHO)

Mental Health News:

  • September is suicide prevention month and OSHA notes that employers play a key role in identifying those at risk and helping them find resources. (Safety and Health Magazine)
  • Firefighters are struggling with mental health issues as wildfire seasons increase in intensity. (NBC News)
  • “Doomscrolling” or being glued to bad news on social media is tied to poor physical and mental health. (The Guardian)
  • Pandemic trauma caused many people to lose their sense of time. (Washington Post)

If you or someone you know may be considering suicide, contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 (En Español: 1-888-628-9454; Deaf and Hard of Hearing: 1-800-799-4889) or the Crisis Text Line by texting HOME to 741741.

Best Questions:

Do I need an Omicron booster? If so, when?

You probably need an Omicron booster - anyone 12 years and up should go get one to better protect them this fall and winter. Much like the flu shot, COVID vaccines take some time to ramp up to full protection and then that protection wanes over time. Some people are questioning whether to delay their booster doses for a few weeks or months to extend their coverage further into the winter. Doing so, however, puts you at higher risk in the short term. Our general advice is to get boosted as soon as possible, especially since we don’t know exactly when the CDC will recommend the next booster. Staying on track and ensuring that you’re up to date on boosters will make this process easier to track moving forward, as well.

I recently had COVID. Should I delay getting the booster?

If you’ve had COVID in the past two months, it may be best to wait 2-3 months before you get the new booster (but follow your doctor’s advice). It’s not because there’s any danger, but because you’re already very well protected from natural immunity caused by the virus. By delaying 2-3 months, you extend the period of time that you’re best protected against the disease. If you are immunocompromised or at high-risk, you should discuss with your doctor.

Can someone get an Orthopox (MPX) vaccine and a COVID booster at the same time?

Although they can be given at the same time, earlier today the CDC recommended that some people - particularly young men - may consider delaying the COVID vaccine for a few weeks after they get the Jynneos (Orthopox/Monkeypox) vaccine.  That decision should be based on conversations with the person’s primary care provider or an infectious disease specialist, and is primarily because both vaccines have a rare risk of myocarditis which may be higher if both are taken together. They still can be taken together, but some people may prefer to delay their booster dose after their MPX vaccine to reduce the risk. If you’re a young man eligible for both the MPX and booster vaccines, you should discuss with your doctor.

How will I know I’m getting the right booster?

You should double check with the person administering your shot that it’s the “bivalent” vaccine.  The term “bivalent” means it covers two strains of virus, including the new Omicron variant.  The shots don’t feel any different than prior boosters or initial doses so you won’t be able to physically tell the difference.  Vaccinators have been instructed to switch to the bivalent vaccine for boosters immediately after they receive it, and most are no longer giving the older vaccine as boosters.  They have been told to hang on to their initial stock of original shots for anyone who hasn’t yet had their primary dose. As long as you are getting the new bivalent booster, that’s the correct shot.

Best Read:

The Next Pandemic Could Come Soon and Be Deadlier | Center for Global Development

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Disclaimer: This post is meant for general information and educational purposes only and does not constitute, and is not intended as, any form of medical, legal or regulatory advice or a recommendation or suggestion regarding the same.  No recipient of this information should act or refrain from acting on the basis of this information without first seeking legal advice from counsel in the relevant jurisdiction.