Town Square

‘For Christmas, give the gift of getting a booster vaccine…’ say health experts

Experts address perceived concerns surrounding J&J, Pfizer, and Moderna vaccines, and how to gather safely this time of year amid the Omicron surge.


A vial of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine is seen during a vaccination clinic at the Norristown Public Health Center in Norristown, Pa., Tuesday, Dec. 7, 2021. Moderna said Monday, Dec. 20, 2021 that a booster dose of its COVID-19 vaccine should offer protection against the rapidly spreading omicron variant.


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Town Square with Ernie Manouse airs at 3 p.m. CT. Tune in on 88.7FM, listen online or subscribe to the podcast. Join the discussion at 888-486-9677, or @townsquaretalk.

With reports that the CDC is narrowing use of the J&J vaccine due to rare odds of a fatal blood-clotting problem called Thrombosis with Thrombocytopenia Syndrome (TTS) occurring (approx.. one case in every 100,000 doses given to women age 30 to 49), many people want to know what the vaccine protocols should be moving forward to those who took J&J.

As we take a deeper dive into the CDC announcing new recommendations regarding the Johnson and Johnson vaccine, we also learn that Pfizer has extended their study on vaccinating young children – reporting that the lower-dose version of its vaccine for 2- to 5-year-olds generated a weaker immune response than expected.

In this episode, medical experts address questions regarding Omicron, Delta, and the future of COVID-19 vaccinations and vaccines.

We also talk with one passionate caller who is very concerned about the physical side effects of the vaccines.

Dr. Gregory Poland*:

  • Professor of Medicine & Infectious Diseases, and Distinguished Investigator at the Mayo Clinic
  • Director of the Mayo Clinic's Vaccine Research Group

Dr. Michael Chang

  • Pediatric infectious diseases specialist at UTHealth and Children’s Memorial Hermann Hospital

*Dr. Poland is a paid scientific advisor for Johnson & Johnson/Janssen Global Services LLC. Dr. Poland is the chair of a Safety Evaluation Committee for novel investigational vaccine trials being conducted by Merck Research Laboratories. Dr. Poland offers consultative advice on vaccine development to Merck & Co., Medicago, GlaxoSmithKline, Sanofi Pasteur, Emergent Biosolutions, Dynavax, Genentech, Eli Lilly and Company, Kentucky Bioprocessing, Bavarian Nordic, AstraZeneca, Exelixis, Regeneron, Janssen, Vyriad, Moderna, and Genevant Sciences, Inc. Dr. Poland holds patents related to vaccinia, influenza, and measles peptide vaccines. Dr. Poland has received grant funding from ICW Ventures for preclinical studies on a peptide-based COVID-19 vaccine. These activities have been reviewed by the Mayo Clinic Conflict of Interest Review Board and are conducted in compliance with Mayo Clinic Conflict of Interest policies. This research has been reviewed by the Mayo Clinic Conflict of Interest Review Board and was conducted in compliance with Mayo Clinic Conflict of Interest policies.

Town Square with Ernie Manouse is a gathering space for the community to come together and discuss the day's most important and pressing issues.

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This article is part of the Town Square with Ernie Manouse podcast

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