Pharmacists see rising demand for COVID-19 boosters as infections spike ahead of holiday
Long Island pharmacists say they are starting to see a higher demand for COVID-19 booster shots as positive cases increase days before Thanksgiving.
Howard Jacobson, owner of Rockville Centre Pharmacy, says they are doing more booster shots than first and second doses.
"For a small pharmacy like ours, it's been off the charts," Jacobson says.
The Food and Drug Administration and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention expanded eligibility for COVID-19 boosters to anyone who is 18 and older.
The expansion comes as Long Island's 7-day average positivity rate is at 4.2%, according to the New York state tracker.
Pharmacists in the area say the supply of booster doses has been fine and people are taking advantage of them.
"I had my two shots, I want to be with my family," says Glen Cove resident George Schneider. "I want to be with other people. I'm a social person. I need my booster."
Federal health experts have approved mixing and matching brands of COVID-19 vaccines for the booster dose. They say the boost to a person's immunity happens within around two days.
CDC Director Rochelle Walensky says, "Booster shots have demonstrated the ability to safely increase people's protection against infection and severe outcomes and are an important public health tool to strengthen our defenses against the virus as we enter the winter holidays."
According to the governor's office, 66% of all New Yorkers are fully vaccinated. Gov. Kathy Hochul is now encouraging everyone to get their booster