Health officials predict a COVID-19 wave to hit in mid to late October and will rise in January.
“America is not rushing out to get the new booster. Most are only dimly aware of it, which is not surprising in a country that seems to have mostly moved on,” said KFF President and CEO Drew Altman to the Washington Times. “The exception may be older folks, who are at greater risk and early on are more interested in the new booster.”
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that everyone who is eligible for a booster receives the newly updated booster vaccine that protects against Omicron variants like BA.4 and BA.5.
Dr. Ali Mokdad, a professor at the University of Washington’s Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation, said a lot of people are not willing to take the vaccine because they have the mindset that they already got COVID-19 and are not worried about the virus anymore.
“‘They say, ‘My immune system has seen it, dealt with it, I don’t need the vaccine,’” said Mokdad to Fortune. “But those people are among those who are still alive. They don’t remember the 4,000 or so that are dying on a weekly basis. People look at the outcome they favor and make a decision not to get the vaccine.”
A lot of people have returned to their normal lives before COVID-19 happened, but what they don’t realize is that the virus is still around and there will be a rise in the coming months.
“The booster is recommended because it is still the best way to provide protection against severe illness, hospitalization, and death from COVID-19,” said Michelle Corson, media relations for the Kern County Public Health Services Department. “Immunity wanes over time and previous vaccinations are not as effective against the currently circulating variants. Getting the booster will increase waning immunity and help protect against serious disease and death.”
Health officials cannot stress enough the importance of getting vaccinated and boosted, especially in the following months.
Winter is coming and more people are going to be staying inside and getting together for the holidays, which can cause the virus to spread easier.
“My family and I are fully vaccinated and have our booster shot too because we know that flu season is coming and winter and we do not want to risk getting sick and not be able to spend time with the family, especially during Christmas when my mom makes her famous tamales,” said Delano resident Gabriela Torres.