Health Headlines: COVID boosters for younger teens could come soon; Are at-home or PCR tests better?

Coronavirus

NEW HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH) — The FDA has approved COVID booster vaccinations for children ages 12 through 15, the first step in making it a reality.

“I think this is really important news and I would certainly urge parents getting their kids 12 and up vaccinated and now boosted,” said Yale Medicine doctor Albert Shaw.

Dr. Shaw also likes the shortened timeline for getting boosted from having to wait six months from the second COVID vaccination to just 5 months.

“Particularly now with the omicron variant circulating widely, schools resuming, it’s another way that we can all try to keep our kids safe,” Shaw said.

The CDC plans to meet on the issue on Wednesday and could give final approval.

Dr. Shaw said the best time to test after a COVID exposure is within three to five days. He said unlike PCR tests, the rapid antigen tests purchased at pharmacies are more likely to be positive in just the first five to seven days of illness because they detect viral proteins.

“A PCR test which tests viral RNA would probably be a better idea, they tend to be positive for longer. I think in general it’s probably good to know that this is definitely COVID, if possible.”

Hartford HealthCare said Monday they have a lower percentage of COVID patients in the ICU compared to last year.

“Omicron, although it may have the ability to be more infectious, although it may be more mild, its infectivity could still drive people into the hospital at this point,” said Hartford Healthcare’s Dr. Ulysses Wu.

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