Coronavirus vaccine boosters are coming

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Coronavirus vaccine boosters are coming
A nurse preparing to inject staff members with the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine at Bradley Manor residential care home in Belfast on December 9, 2020. Liam McBurney/PA Images via Getty Images

Hello,

Welcome to Insider Healthcare. We're Lydia Ramsey Pflanzer and Leah Rosenbaum, and this week in healthcare news:

Before we jump in, I (Lydia) just wanted to say a big welcome to Leah Rosenbaum, who joins us this week as a healthcare editor. You'll be seeing her name a lot in this newsletter over the next few months! You can email her at lrosenbaum@insider.com or follow her on Twitter @leah_rosenbaum.

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And as always, if you're new to this newsletter, sign up here. Let's get to it...


Pfizer booster shots OK'd for many

After weeks of debate, on Wednesday the Food and Drug Administration authorized a booster dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine for older adults and people at high risk of disease.

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The conversation surrounding booster shots has been messy, but this decision from the FDA finally brought some clarity to the issue. Six months after getting their second dose of Pfizer's vaccine, adults 65 and older and people who are at high risk of disease (frontline workers, prisoners, and immunocompromised people) can get a third shot.

A new wrinkle came on Thursday, when CDC advisors split from the FDA over whether frontline workers should get additional shots.

The advisory committee did vote unanimously to recommend Pfizer's booster shots for people who are 65 and older and nursing home residents.

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While some adults are getting three shots, many children in the US still haven't gotten one. This could change soon though - Pfizer announced this week that its vaccine is safe in kids ages 5-11.

Read on>>

FDA authorizes boosters of the Pfizer-BioNTech coronavirus vaccine for older adults and others at high risk from COVID-19


Coronavirus vaccine boosters are coming
Rawpixel.com/Shutterstock

Meet the companies that are building the backbone of digital health

A new generation of digital health companies is making millions by focusing on the infrastructure of health care.

The companies, including Wheel, Truepill, SteadyMD, and Particle Health, are the "plumbers" of the digital health world, Megan Hernbroth reports. They provide software and infrastructure to other digital health companies, enabling patient information and data to flow smoothly from one company to the next.

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It may not be the most glamorous work, but someone's got to do it.

Dive in>>

A handful of companies are powering the next wave of the digital health revolution. Here's why investors are betting millions on healthcare's 'plumbers.'


Coronavirus vaccine boosters are coming
Mike McSherry spoke with Insider about the pitchdeck that scored the company a $24 million Series B. Xealth

Health software company Xealth just raised millions

Several healthcare startups raised rounds in the millions this week.

Xealth, a software company that sells tools to doctors, raised a $24 million Series B round this week. Mohana Ravindranath and Lydia got a peek at the pitch deck that helped them score the deal.

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Other companies had successful fundraising rounds this week too. Among them are telehealth company NOCD, which raised $33 million to help people with obsessive compulsive disorder.

A new startup backed by Peter Thiel called Chapter also raised $17 million in funding, wrote Shelby Livingston. Its goal? Help older adults get registered for Medicare.

Check it out>>

See the 29-slide pitch deck that a digital health startup used to raise $24 million from its hospital customers.


More stories that kept us busy this week:

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-Leah & Lydia

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