‘Do it now’: Doctors urge importance of getting the omicron booster shot

But at a time when people seem more mindful of flu shots, there’s concern about COVID complacency.
Published: Sep. 20, 2022 at 5:53 PM EDT

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - Public health experts said now is the time to get the latest round of COVID boosters, and some are listening.

Norton Healthcare reported Tuesday that 1,200 booster shots have been administered in just three days. The updated omicron booster shots are now available for teens and adults and provide protection against the variant and the original COVID virus.

But at a time when people seem more mindful of flu shots, there’s concern about COVID complacency.

”We’re mask fatigued, we’re COVID fatigued, we’re booster fatigued,” infectious disease specialist Dr. Mark Burns of UofL Health said. “I mean everybody’s tired of this. You probably heard the President, prematurely I might add, claiming the pandemic was over. Unfortunately, I don’t think SARS-COVID 2 got the memo.”

The latest numbers might contribute to public confidence. Jefferson County charts showing infections and deaths plot a downward course.

Last week there were 1,246 confirmed cases, keeping Jefferson County in the yellow or medium risk. But as fall approaches, the season of large events and socializing also comes with a COVID infection rebound.

Doctors have clear advice on when to get boosted.

”Do it now,” Norton Healthcare physician Monalisa Tailor said. “It’s going to take about two weeks for your body to make those antibodies to help give you that layer of protection.”

As of noon on Saturday, 517,622, or 67.4% of Jefferson County residents have completed their primary vaccination. But just 48%, or 248,590, have received a booster.

Without the booster, health experts predict nationally thousands of additional deaths and tens of thousands more hospitalizations.

“We’ve got football games coming up, we’ve got Saint James Art Festival, we’ve got Boo at the Zoo, we’ve got Thanksgiving, Christmas and all the other things that come with it,” Tailor said. “And I want to make sure everyone has a layer of protection as we’re going into all of these fabulous activities.”