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Holidays, omicron variant causing uptick in booster shots

Published: Nov. 29, 2021 at 4:29 PM CST
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NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) - At NOLA Discount Pharmacy, people are lining up to get the COVID-19 booster.

“Well, Mardi Gras is coming up, and I want to be protected. I don’t want to get it, and I don’t want to give it to anybody else,” says Julie Jules.

“We’ve been getting a lot of people coming in to get the booster. I think it’s great. We’re actually getting more people coming in to get the booster than people that need to get vaccinated,” says Pharmacist Khanh Tran.

People say they just want to be protected for the months ahead, plus, they have the new COVID variant, Omicron, on their minds.

“Omicron was first discovered in South Africa. It started November 24th, and we noticed that rather than a hundred cases, it jumped to 1,200 cases,” says Eric Griggs, M.D.

Dr. Eric Griggs says Omicron appears to be highly contagious.

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“We know that the more people that get infected, the more mutations will happen. The more mutations that happen, the more likely you have variants... and here we are,” says Dr. Griggs.

Doctors still say while the new COVID-19 variant hasn’t yet been identified in the U.S., it’s inevitable that it will make it to this country. For now, there isn’t a whole lot known about the new variant. In the meantime, scientists are working on the possibility of needing another vaccine.

“The fact that the drug companies Moderna and Pfizer are saying that they can have a vaccine in as little as six weeks and ready to ship within 100 days, that’s amazing and it gives me comfort,” says Griggs, M.D.

Dr. Griggs points out getting vaccinated today is key to protecting everyone against the COVID-19 that’s here now.

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