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Telephone town hall on vaccine questions held for older Iowans

Published: Oct. 19, 2021 at 6:21 PM CDT
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CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (KCRG) - Older Iowans had the chance to ask about COVID-19 booster shots and flu vaccines Tuesday in a telephone town hall hosted by AARP.

Kelly Garcia, the Director of the Iowa Department of Public Health, answered incoming questions. People asked about COVID-19 booster eligibility and whether they can mix vaccines when they get their booster shot.

”Yesterday the FDA started to signal that they’re going to think about giving us guidance around mixing shots,” Garcia said. “We are going to have some clinical guidance in the next several weeks or a month or so that will give us a pathway to exactly what you’re asking.”

Right now, booster shots are available to people 65 and older, or those with certain conditions, who completed their Pfizer series at least six months ago. But some on the call received Moderna and were wondering when they will be eligible. Booster shots may be approved for Moderna and Johnson & Johnson soon as well.

Questions also came up about flu shots and whether some are stronger than others.

”There are different strengths of the flu vaccine and there are specially formulated vaccines that are a little stronger that give a higher boost of immunity for older Iowans,” Garcia said.

Garcia explained that all flu shots work, but added that people can talk with their healthcare provider if they have further questions about which flu shot is best for them.

Garcia said this year is expected to be a high-volume flu year, she’s recommending people get their flu shot if they haven’t already.

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