Tallahassee residents getting booster shots as precaution against Omicron, other variants
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WCTV) - The CDC strengthened its position on booster shots Monday in response to the new Omicron variant of COVID-19.
The organization previously said everyone 18 and older “may” get a booster and are now saying everyone “should” get one.
The Omicron variant has not been identified in the United States, but experts say it will likely make its way here soon.
People who spoke with WCTV Tuesday getting their booster shots say they would’ve gotten that third shot regardless, but the emergence of this new variant added a sense of urgency.
“The omicron variant is definitely one of the reasons I’m here today,” said Jacob Fortunas, who was receiving his COVID booster Tuesday.
Fortunas says he wanted to get a booster to make sure his immune system was strong enough to fight off COVID, whether it be the Delta or new Omicron variant.
Sydell Houston is in the same boat.
“If a booster shot will help me to be safer, that’s what I was here for today is to be as safe as I can be,” Houston explained.
About 50% of Leon County residents are vaccinated and 60% have gotten at least one dose.
Dr. Daniel Van Durme, with FSU’s College of Medicine, says increasing these vaccination rates is key.
“We should be concerned enough to say yes, redouble the effort to get vaccinated,” Dr. Van Durme said.
He added the Omicron variant isn’t a cause for panic but it is a cause for concern and expects it will take several weeks to find out just how dangerous the variant is.
“Some of these mutations allow the virus to get much more aggressive to make people a lot sicker, to kill more people,” he said. “And we just don’t know yet. There’s so much that we don’t know.”
Dr. Van Durme encourages people to get vaccinated and boosted to protect against both Delta and Omicron.
The more people get vaccinated, the less opportunity COVID has to infect people and mutate to form new variants.
“We may get tired of the pandemic, but I promise you, the virus doesn’t care about people’s politics. The virus doesn’t care about how tired we are. It’s going to keep doing what viruses do.”
Dr. Van Durme is encouraging people to still take COVID precautions, like masking up in crowded spaces and washing your hands often, especially as more transmission is expected during the holiday season.
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