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October 30th 2021 - Dr. Fred Buckhold, Dr. Hilary Babcock, Dr. T.J. Schneider, & Dr. Gregory Wu

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Dr. FRED BUCKHOLD, SLU Care General Internist at SSM Health Saint Louis University Hospital.  An FDA advisory committee recommends emergency use approval for Pfizer's COVID-19 vaccine for kids 5-11.  Dr. Buckhold welcomes the move -- says it still needs full FDA approval and approval from the CDC and CDC director Dr. Rochelle Wallensky.  He says parents should get their kids vaccinated.  What's his advice for trick or treating this Sunday?  Try to avoid big parties, mask up over your costume, but no need to disinfect candy wrappers this year.  Dr. Buckhold tells us about a new study that finds a cheap, generic anti-depressant drug may reduce severe COVID-19.

Dr. HILARY BABCOCK, Washington University infectious disease specialist with BJC Healthcare.  She says lots of people still have questions about what it means to mix and match your COVID vaccine and booster.  She says keep the same manufacture for your initial COVID vaccine, but the booster can be from any company.  She also says the Moderna booster is a half dose of the earlier vaccine because the first one was very strong.  Dr. Babcock explains the concern over possible myocarditis risk from the vaccine.  She says it is much more of a risk if you get COVID-19 itself.  Dr. Babcock says adults also should be aware of the other vaccines they should be getting -- flu, tetanus, shingles and pneumonia. What do parents need to know about Pfizer's COVID-19 vaccine for kids 5-11? Dr Babcock says parents should get their kids vaccinated -- and, like adults, the myocarditis risk is very small -- and much less than if you get the virus itself.  In fact, in kids 5-11, she says there were no reported myocarditis cases.  And when there are in kids, they are usually mild and resolve quickly.

Dr. T.J. SCHNEIDER, vascular surgeon and medical director at SSM Health St. Joseph Hospital in St. Charles.  Friday was World Stroke Day. One of the big causes of stroke is Carotid Artery Disease.  Dr. Schneider tells us what this is, what are the symptoms and what are the current treatments.  He also tells us about prevention methods. He says new treatments make fixing carotid artery problems much less invasive.  If you have high blood pressure, obesity or have some sort of heart disease, you should ask your doctor to check for carotid artery concerns.   

Dr. GREGORY WU, Washington University neurologist.  Last week. CNN anchor John King revealed he had been dealing with multiple sclerosis for many years.  King tells his story of how this has affected his life, his daily symptoms, treatments and why he is revealing this now.  Dr. Wu says John King's story is typical of the story told by other MS patients.  What is MS?  What are the symptoms?  What are the treatments?  How can symptoms be lessened?  He says stopping smoking is very important as is controlling your weight.  Another possible help might be Vitamin D -- but research is ongoing into that with no definitive results back yet.  What impact does COVID-19 have on MS patients -- who are immunocompromised?  Dr. Wu says MS patients should talk with their doctor about whether they need a booster shot.  And he says he is not opposed to additional boosters -- if that's what it takes to get patients with severely compromised immune systems fully protected against COVID-19. 

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​Your Health Matters! Saturdays at 4:00 Health Reporter, Fred Bodimer checks in with the Physicians 
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