Preview Mode Links will not work in preview mode

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.

Oct 30, 2021




Let’s look at the latest CDC guidelines regarding who should receive booster doses.

Who needs a booster shot?

A 3rd shot should be given as a booster for those who received complete vaccination with an mRNA vaccine, either Moderna or Pfizer, at least 6 months earlier and;

  • are 56 years or older;
  • 18 years or older in a long-term care facility;
  • 50-64 years of age with cancer, stroke, chronic heart, kidney, lung or liver disease, diabetes, obesity, pregnancy, smoking habit, tuberculosis, or significant mental health disorders.

A 2nd shot as a booster should be given to all those who received complete vaccination with the 

Johnson & Johnson-Janssen vaccine at least 2 months earlier.  That’s it.  Any of the vaccines may be used.


Immunocompromised persons more than 28 days following initial vaccination with either Moderna or Pfizer should immediately receive a 3rd shot consisting of a full 100 ug dose of Moderna or a 30 ug dose of Pfizer.


Which booster shot to receive?

Clinical trials show that each booster shot including a full dose of Pfizer, a half dose of Moderna, or a full dose of the J&J significantly increases anti-CoVid immunity as measured by antibody levels.  One study of mix and match strategies showed that both work and any of the vaccines would produce the same or higher level of anti-CoVid immunity.


Discuss your options with your provider.  Each vaccine has slight associated risks for the booster as they did for the initial vaccination: Pfizer and Moderna - myocarditis more frequent in men and younger adults; J&J - thrombosis with platelet depletion for women 18-49 and Guillain-Barré syndrome for men 50-64.  If you are in these groups, the CDC recommends consideration of an mRNA booster with Moderna or Pfizer.


The CDC just added several recommendations for those moderately or severely immunocompromised.  Those 6 months or more after their 3rd shot or booster should consider a 4th shot or 2nd booster.


These are the CDC booster guidelines as of October 26, 2021.


#CoVid #vaccine #booster #cdc #pfizer #moderna #jandj