With spike-in-omicron infections converging with the holidays, COVID-19 booster vaccinations are in greater demand – CBS Los Angeles
Los Angeles (CBSLA) – Pharmacies are seeing a surge in business from people queuing to get their COVID-19 booster vaccinations.
The sudden spike in COVID-19 infections and hospitalizations took most of the pandemic-weary nation by surprise, despite public health officials urging people to get the third syringe since receiving emergency clearance from the FDA in October. Now people are scrambling to get a booster shot as the virus resurgence has put vacation plans into question.
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Susan Germaise says she had to drive to the San Fernando Valley from the Westside because there were no booster vaccination appointments near her home.
“I’m supposed to go to Florida with my daughter on Saturday and protect my parents,” she said. “It’s like deja vu again. We were here last year and it’s the same situation. I’m nervous about traveling. “
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Sherri Cherman, the owner of Elements Pharmacy in Studio City, says they currently give about 250 booster shots a day – that’s ten times more than a month ago. The pharmacy has no more refreshment appointments during the holidays – but they are doing their best to accommodate walk-ins and they plan to stay open until Christmas Eve and work into the new year.
“We try to take care of everyone and keep them calm,” Cherman said. “We just have parking attendants in the parking lot.”
Doctors and public health officials alike say all three vaccinations are the best defense against serious illness caused by COVID-19. However, the Omicron variant is believed to be much more effective in fully vaccinated people, and more so-called breakthrough infections are reported in this round.
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Dr. Cameron Nouri, the emergency room medical director at San Bernardino Community Hospital, says it takes about two weeks for the booster to reach maximum immunity.