NEW YORK — The new COVID-19 vaccine booster, targeting the most prevalent Omicron variants, is out and coming to a doctor’s office near you!
As CBS2’s Carolyn Gusoff reported Friday, medical experts are urging people to get this latest booster before the weather changes and an expected fall surge.
The wait is over of Cynthia Lessing. After a bad bout of COVID, she’s eager to get the new booster.
“I called and asked them to please let me know the minute that it was available,” said Lessing, an East Patchogue resident.
For the first time, boosters are available in doctor’s officers like at Northwell Physician Partners in East Islip.
It’s the first variant-specific booster, called “bivalent” because it targets the current Omicron variants and boosts protection against the original virus.
It’s available and encouraged for everyone over 12 and more than two months out from their last shot. Those recently infected with COVID-19 can wait two to three months – a departure from prior recommendations when supplies were limited.
“But this is now and continues to be a public health issue and if you’re eligible, so 12 and older for Pfizer, 18 and older for Moderna, it is a solid recommendation to protect yourself and protect the community,” said Dr. Matthew Harris, COVID-19 vaccine medical director at Northwell Health.
But this one is a hard sell.
“No,” one person said. “I did three of them. That’s it.”
“It’s enough. I don’t care,” said another.
“I am going to travel. So yes, I think I will,” said a third.
Doctors warn it’s a bad time for complacency. COVID is still out there.
“People say, ‘I already had COVID, so I don’t need it,’ which is not true,” said Dr. Mara Cofler-Koldorff from Northwell Health. “They don’t understand that the lingering symptoms, that they may stay for so long.”
It’s also a challenge to get the word out to a COVID-weary public. Santos Lopez, 81, was surprised to find it at her doctor’s office.
“We didn’t know it was available,” said Lopez.
“Herd immunity is real. It works. It’s scientifically proven,” said Amanda Butler, of Port Jefferson Station.
You can also find the booster at major pharmacies. In most cases, doctors say there’s no reasons not to get a flu shot at the same time.