HOUSTON — Updated COVID-19 booster shots adapted for the omicron variant began rolling out at the beginning of September for all Americans ages 12 and older. Dr. Anthony Fauci is urging Black Americans to get that booster, ahead of the potential fall surge.
“COVID is still pretty much a pandemic, and it’s still pretty much still with us here in town,” said Dr. Luis Ostrosky, UT Physicians Chief of Infectious Diseases.
In mid-September, data from the Department of Health showed there was still a 20% posterior rate in Houston, and COVID rates are about three times more than what we saw in the summer of 2020. According to Ostrosky, health experts are preparing for a winter surge, and there is a disparity in people contracting the disease and dying from it.
“We really noticed it was our minorities who were African American and Hispanic communities, that were taking on a disproportionate burden of cases and deaths,” Ostrosky said.
Doctors are hoping if more communities of color get vaccinated, it will close the gaps in those outcomes. Currently, the demand for the updated vaccine is high but still available.
“Almost all of the retail pharmacists and all the healthcare systems in town do have the vaccine and are able to accommodate anyone who wants it,” Ostrosky said.
If you’ve already had COVID, Ostrosky doesn’t recommend waiting to get the new vaccine. After 10 days from testing positive you are eligible for a vaccine as long you are at least 12 years old.