Images of the COVID-19 virus.
Credit: Sam Bermas-Dawes, GPB News. Images courtesy of the National Institute of Health.

Thursday on Political Rewind: The latest developments in the fight against COVID-19.

In Georgia and across the nation, confirmed cases of the virus have dropped off. However, uncertainty remains if the winter months will bring back another surge as people spend more time indoors to escape the cold.

And, booster shots are now widely available, but are they necessary? Should they be available to only the most medically vulnerable? We discuss with a panel of medical experts with experience in the field during the pandemic.

Dr. Harry Heiman, a professor of public health at Georgia State University, said he believes the emphasis needs to be placed on vaccination efforts over the campaign to get people booster shots.

"I worry a little bit that, as we try to ramp up vaccines to children and try to do outreach and engagement of those who are currently unvaccinated, I don't want the boosters to distract us from that critical work," Heiman said. "Because ultimately, what's going to get us out of this pandemic to a new and better place is not boosting people as much as it is ensuring that more people get primary immunizations."

In recent news, the FDA has now approved vaccinating children 5 to 11.  But many parents say they’re reluctant to give their kids a shot. Are their concerns justified by the science?

Dr. Michelle Au, a pediatrician and Democratic state senator from Jones Creek, said, "We do know that kids are vulnerable and any preventable illness in a kid or, particularly, preventable death in children, is worth fighting against."

She added, "There should not be a tolerable level of preventable death in the pediatric population. So as we move into this vaccine approval, I think this is what we need to be focusing our discussion on and to reassure parents that this vaccine is safe and effective."


Kevin Riley – Editor, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Sen. Michelle Au – State lawmaker and M.D. in pediatrics and Anesthesiology

Dr. Harry Heiman – Professor of public health, Georgia State University

Dr. Keren Landman – Physician, epidemiologist, and journalist