The Biden administration has approved a fourth Covid-19 vaccine shot for all Americans over age 50 and for all adults who are immunocompromised.
But does that mean everybody who is eligible should rush out to their pharmacy or primary care doctor to get it?
The short answer is that it depends — on both your personal risk and what’s happening with the pandemic.
Making things even more perplexing, the public health guidance has become more nuanced as more booster shots are authorized.
Whereas public health experts were unified in urging people to get their first and second shots last year, they were more divided about third shots when those were approved late last year, at least until the emerging omicron wave made the first round of boosters more urgent.
Sometimes when she’s feeding her infant daughter, Amanda Harrison is overcome with emotion and has to wipe away tears of gratitude.
She is lucky to be here, holding her baby. Harrison was 29 weeks pregnant and unvaccinated when she got sick with COVID-19 in August.
Her symptoms were mild at first, but she suddenly felt like she couldn’t breathe. Living in Phenix City, she was intubated and flown to a hospital in Birmingham, where doctors delivered baby Lake two months early and put Harrison on life support.
Getting vaccinated can significantly reduce your chances of dying from Covid-19.
Like, really significantly. Throughout the month of August, unvaccinated adults were 11 times more likely to die from Covid-19 than fully vaccinated adults, according to new data released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The CDC also found that unvaccinated adults faced a six times as likely to contract the virus than fully vaccinated adults. The data marks the first time the CDC has released information about how Covid-19 risks can differ depending on vaccination status.
Last spring, a friend of mine, a writer and executive coach named Brad Stulberg, received a troubling call from one of his clients. The client, an executive, had suddenly started losing many of his best employees, and he couldn’t really explain why. “This was the canary in the coal mine,” Stulberg said.
In the weeks that followed, more clients began sharing stories of unusually high staff attrition. “They were asking me, ‘Am I doing something wrong?’ ” Stulberg was especially well suited to help the executives he advises grasp the mind-set of their exiting employees.
Before the pandemic, Stulberg had been working on a book, “The Practice of Groundedness,” which argues for a values-based approach to defining and pursuing success. The research process led him to question his own professional situation. He lived with his wife and their young son in an apartment in Oakland, California.
He was on staff as an internal coach for Kaiser Permanente, a health-care company. He also ran his own small, community-based coaching practice, wrote books and freelance magazine articles, and delivered paid lectures. His new book emphasized the imperatives of presence and developing community ties, but Stulberg didn’t have the time to act on these principles, as he felt that he had to work constantly to keep up with the high cost of living in Oakland. “The laptop was always out,” he said.
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The growing number of Baby Boomer retirements nationwide is accelerating, raising concerns locally about losing a large chunk of the workforce sooner than expected.
Data shows nearly 6 million more Boomers in the U.S. retired from October 2020 through March of this year than the same period a year prior, creating a larger void than anticipated in an economy seeking to fill jobs across an array of industries and recover from the woes of the coronavirus pandemic.