Omicron variant increases demand for booster shots

Posted at 6:37 PM, Dec 02, 2021
and last updated 2021-12-03 14:46:39-05

So far, the COVID-19 Omicron variant has been found in 24 countries with at least two confirmed cases reaching the U.S.

That’s leading the push for people to get their vaccine booster shots.

Best Care Pharmacy in Arroyo Grande typically gives out around 30 booster shots per day, but with the news of a new variant in California, they are much busier.

“We have an increasing amount of people. Yesterday, we did at least 60 shots right after the news about the variant. I am happy, though, that people are responding well about getting their shots," said Cherie Lamson, a pharmacist at Best Care Pharmacy.

If you are preparing to get your booster vaccine, experts say it’s important to remember that you still have to wait for the vaccine to go into effect.

"Some people would think that right after they get their booster shot, ‘hey, I’m already good to go’, but you have to keep in mind that the vaccine has to kick in our system, and it takes about two weeks," said Lamson.

While you wait your two weeks, experts say to still be cautious and continue to practice social distancing, wearing a mask, and washing your hands frequently.

San Luis Obispo County officials say the public health clinics in the area have a sufficient supply of booster shots and are accepting walk-ins and appointments.

Media liaison for San Luis Obispo County, Michelle Shoresman, said, “There shouldn’t be any problem for anybody who wants to get a vaccine right now, either first, second, or booster shot, at any of our local pharmacies or at any of the public health departments."

San Luis Obispo County is home to one of 15 labs in the state that can detect this variant.

“We are lucky on the Central Coast to have a laboratory and lab director who has taken this charge and helped the state’s overall effort in detection, isolation, and quarantining," said Shoresman.

According to San Luis Obispo County officials, only a third of the eligible population in the county has received their booster shot. Information on public health clinic locations can be found here.