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This week: COVID-19 vaccine boosters, wastewater surveillance

Booster doses of the COVID-19 vaccine are coming, and this is a common component of vaccines for other diseases as well, explains Dr. Stephen Thomas, a specialist in infectious disease at Upstate.

In this episode of "HealthLink on Air," he discusses third doses of the two-dose Pfizer and Moderna vaccines for those with suppressed immune systems, and why healthy vaccinated people would need a booster. Thomas also stresses the vaccines’ effectiveness, noting that among COVID-related hospitalizations and deaths, the vast majority are unvaccinated. He also speaks to the need to keep vaccinating more people to defeat the virus, including those younger than 12, who he hopes will be cleared to receive vaccines before long. Thomas directs Upstate’s Institute for Global Health and Translational Science and oversaw vaccine trials for the Pfizer vaccine.

Also on this week's show, Syracuse University environmental epidemiologist Dave Larsen discusses how wastewater surveillance has provided an early warning about COVID-19 outbreaks during the pandemic. Larsen is working to scale wastewater surveillance statewide in New York and led a project that surveyed sewage from SU dormitories. He is an associate professor in public health at SU’s Falk College of Sport and Human Dynamics.

Listen this Sunday, August 29 at 6 a.m. and 9 p.m. for more.

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