Tampa Bay residents rush to get boosters to avoid holiday COVID surge

Coronavirus

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (WFLA) — There’s a rush this week to get COVID-19 vaccine boosters ahead of upcoming holiday get-togethers.

Concern is growing as the omicron variant becomes the dominant strain of coronavirus across the country. Experts are urging people to get vaccinated ahead of the holidays to help fight a COVID-19 surge.

Dozens of people rolled up their sleeves on Tuesday to get vaccinated during a one-day vaccine clinic at Northside Hospital in St. Petersburg.

“We’re getting our booster – my grandson, my wife and myself. It’s just good business,” said Paul Thompson.

People who visited the clinic could get a first dose, a second dose or a booster. However, many who showed up needed a booster.

“We all get together for the holidays, so if some people are too naïve to get it, I need to have it to protect myself and my wife. So that’s why we’re here,” Adrian Jones said.

As many get ready to gather with family and friends for the holidays, experts are insisting on people getting the vaccine and boosters to prevent severe illness with the omicron variant.

“We are seeing breakthrough infections even in elderly people. If they are boosted, it’s turning out to be really mild,” Dr. Ashish Jha said.

“I remember when I was listening to the news – the first day it hit Florida – and I’m going, ‘here we go,’ it doesn’t take long for it to spread,” said Teresa Jones.

The variant and the free event helped push Teresa and her husband Adrian to get their boosters.

“The best thing to do is be protected,” Adrian Jones said.

You can find a vaccination site near you online.

Copyright 2022 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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