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Howard G. Smith, M.D. is a former radio medical editor and talk show host in the Boston Metro area. His "Medical Minute" of health and wellness news and commentary was a regular weekday feature on WBZ-AM, WRKO-AM, and WMRE-AM. His popular two-way talk show, Dr. Howard Smith OnCall, was regularly heard Sunday morning and middays on WBZ.

Dr. Smith has adopted audio and video podcasting as conduits for HEALTH NEWS YOU SHOULD USE. Based on the latest medical, health, and wellness literature these reports provide practical information you can use to keep yourself and your family healthy. Many reports have video versions, and Dr. Smith’s YouTube Channel may be found at:

Trained at Harvard Medical School and a long-time faculty member at Boston Children’s Hospital, he practiced Pediatric Otolaryngology for 40 years in Boston, Southern California, and in central Connecticut.  He is now based in New York City.

If you have questions or suggestions about this content, please email the doctor at or leave him a message at 516-778-8864.  His website is:

Please note that the news, views, commentary, and opinions that Dr. Smith provides are for informational purposes only. Any changes that you or members of your family contemplate making to lifestyle, diet, medications, or medical therapy should always be discussed beforehand with personal physicians who have been supervising your care.

Jun 29, 2022




Just as CoVid Omicron cases seem to be declining in the US, the latest Omicron subvariants, particularly BA.5, have been sweeping across the world and now rising in the United States.


The Omicron subvariants BA.4 and 

BA.5 were first noted in South Africa early in the spring.  In May, the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control declared these Omicron mutants variants of concern.


BA.5 has a 12 to 13% growth advantage over even BA.2, and by May was already responsible for 37% of cases in Portugal but few in the US..  Now, BA.5 is responsible for 37% of cases in the US.


Be aware too that a previous case of Omicron is no protection against becoming infected with Omicron BA.5.  CoVid vaccination and boosting after 3 months or more following your last shot offers only minimal protection against infection with BA.5 but does protect against a severe or deadly case of it.


The bottom line: CoVid is far from over so buckle up.  As we head into the summer, we need to return to more stringent precautions including masking indoors and in crowds using N95 masks, maintaining appropriate distancing, staying out of crowds, and avoiding indoor dining except in well-controlled bubbles.


#CoVid #omicron #BA5 #vaccination #boosters