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Dr. Leana Wen: boosters; nursing shortage; is this pandemic over?

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Dr. Leana Wen, emergency physician and public health advocate, teaches at GWUniversity's Milken Institute School of Public Health. (credit GWU)

And now, another edition of the Midday Healthwatch, Tom's monthly conversation with public health advocate Dr. Leana Wen. She's an emergency physician and visiting professor at George Washington University's Milken Institute School of Public Health. She’s also a former Health Commissioner of the city of Baltimore, and a Senior Fellow at the Brookings Institution, as well as a commentator for CNN and a columnist for the Washington Post. Her latest book is called Lifelines: A Doctor's Journey in the Fight for Public Health.

Today, Dr. Wen discusses whether the pandemic is really over, as President Biden recently asserted in his 60 Minutes interview on CBS. His statement stirred controversy. Health officials noted that nearly 400 people are still dying every day, and stocks of the three companies that produce vaccines tumbled down 9%. But does he have a point?

The new bivalent booster that targets the omicron variant certainly presents an opportunity to enter a new phase in handling the disease. Who should get it, and when? And, what’s the best way to handle the side effects of the boosters that some people experience?

Plus, the nursing shortage persists in hospitals across the country. Dr. Wen has some observations about how to attract and retain these vital health care professionals.

Dr. Leana Wen joins us on Zoom.

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Host, Midday (M-F 12:00-1:00)
Malarie is Midday's Supervisory Producer.
Teria is a Supervising Producer on Midday.
Rob is Midday's senior producer.