COVID-19 weekly news: February 14-20

Mayo Clinic to implement updated COVID-19 vaccine recommendations

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommendations for Pfizer and Moderna COVID-19 vaccines have been updated to include a booster, or fourth dose, for moderately to severely immunocompromised people a minimum of three months after completing an mRNA vaccination series.

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Cases down, but Mayo Clinic expert says COVID-19 pandemic isn’t over

With the peak of the omicron surge in the rearview mirror, the number of COVID-19 cases in the U.S. is dropping. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says last week's seven-day moving average of daily new cases decreased nearly 43% compared with the previous week. But Mayo Clinic COVID-19 experts caution that the number of new COVID-19 cases is still significant.

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Mayo Clinic Q&A podcast: COVID-19 news update

As the U.S. moves beyond the omicron surge of the COVID-19 pandemic, key indicators are dropping. "Both the acute indicators — number of cases — and the lagging indicators — hospitalizations and then deaths — are all dropping slowly, but they're surely dropping," says Dr. Gregory Poland, head of Mayo Clinic's Vaccine Research Group.

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Community leaders and Mayo Clinic researchers develop playbook for COVID-19 health equity, future pandemics

ROCHESTER, Minn. — Public health experts report that members of immigrant and refugee communities continue to be disproportionately affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, with higher rates of infection and death. Health disparities can be associated with job type, immigration status and English proficiency. A team of Mayo Clinic medical experts and community leaders collaborated to find ways to reduce health disparities related to COVID-19. Their playbook included how to address communication gaps, identify community priorities and improve access to needed resources. They also predict that this approach will be effective in future public health emergencies and pandemics.

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Mayo Clinic expert stresses importance of vaccinating school-age children for COVID-19

Parents hoping to get their young children vaccinated for COVID-19 will have to wait at least another two months. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recently postponed a decision on an emergency use authorization of the Pfizer vaccine for kids 6 months to 4 years old. The FDA is waiting on additional data, which are expected in early April.

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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.