COVID-19 weekly news: August 23-27

Mayo Clinic Minute: Back to school and separation anxiety

Kids have been at home for a long time because of the COVID-19 pandemic, and some students might not be looking forward to the first day of school this year, in part because of separation anxiety.

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FDA gives full approval to Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine

"Based on clinical trial results, Mayo Clinic experts have promoted the safety and efficacy of the COVID-19 vaccines since the emergency use authorizations were given," says James Watson, M.D., chair of the COVID-19 Vaccine Allocation and Distribution Work Group. "We know, however, that some patients, staff and community members were seeking more assurances. Full FDA approval requires a rigorous review of data for safety, effectiveness and manufacturing processes, which I hope removes a barrier to vaccination for many individuals."

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Don’t get COVID-19 booster vaccine too soon

Amid reports of waning COVID-19 immunity, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is expected to officially approve a third dose of messengerRNA vaccines for the general public. Moderna and Pfizer are mRNA vaccines. The FDA has already approved a third COVID-19 vaccine dose for those who have compromised immune systems, as part of their primary vaccine series. That third vaccine is not considered a booster.

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Responding to increased demand for COVID-19 testing, vaccines and implementing visitor restrictions

"We’re testing hundreds of people each day for COVID-19. In southeast Minnesota counties outside of Rochester, 15 to 20 percent of tests are coming back positive," says Robert Albright, Jr. D.O., regional vice president, Southeast Minnesota Region, Mayo Clinic Health System. "Nearly all patients hospitalized due to COVID-19 are unvaccinated people. For our part, Mayo will continue to vaccinate as many people as possible, give antibody infusions to prevent hospitalizations, encourage masking and educate our communities on the threat of another surge. Our communities can, in turn, help us keep medical professionals available for non-COVID-19 care by getting vaccinated and wearing masks to reduce the spread of the virus."

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8-25-2021 COVID-19 Media Only News Briefing: Ask the Mayo expert

On Wednesday, Aug. 25, Dr. Andrew Badley, Chair of the COVID-19 Task Force at Mayo Clinic, fielded questions from news reporters and producers.

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Mayo Clinic to offer COVID-19 vaccination walk-in clinics in Rochester through Sept. 17

Mayo Clinic in Rochester has added more COVID-19 vaccine walk-in clinics for patients, visitors and staff in response to the Food and Drug Administration's full approval of Pfizer's COVID-19 vaccine for those 16 and older, the recommendation of a third dose of a COVID-19 vaccine immunocompromised people, and the potential for COVID-19 vaccine booster shots when they're approved.

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Chantell Canfield

Chantell Canfield is a web content coordinator for Mayo Clinic Laboratories. She began working for Mayo Clinic in 2021.