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Florida sees spike in residents seeking vaccine boosters

308,217 booster shots administered from Nov. 26 to Dec. 2
Woman receives COVID-19 booster and flu shot in Miami on Oct. 5, 2021
Posted at 1:00 PM, Dec 06, 2021
and last updated 2021-12-06 17:32:45-05

BOYNTON BEACH, Fla. — Statistics show people are heeding the warning of health experts and getting a booster shot six months after their second dose of the COVID-19 vaccine.

RELATED: More omicron detected as hospitals strain under virus surge

The latest figures from the CDC show that more than 46 million people have now received a booster dose in the U.S.

That number includes anyone who is fully vaccinated and has received another dose of the COVID-19 vaccine since Aug. 13, 2021.

The CDC said last week all adults "should" get a COVID-19 booster shot once they become eligible.

People 18 and older can get a Pfizer or Moderna booster shot six months after receiving their second shot. Adults who received the Johnson & Johnson vaccine are eligible for a booster shot after two months.

MORE: Omicron COVID-19 variant drives Florida residents to get vaccinated

The latest data released by the Florida Department of Health on Dec. 3 shows that more 2.9 million people have now received a booster dose in the Sunshine State.

The Florida Department of Health data shows 226,000 more people got their booster shots last week compared to Thanksgiving week.

In the past 10 weeks, the number of COVID-19 vaccine doses administered to Florida residents reached its highest peak the week of Nov. 26 with 497,854 shots administered, including 308,217 booster shots.

Statistics show that Florida residents not previously vaccinated continue to get the shot. The state distributed 101,032 first doses of the COVID-19 vaccine from Nov. 26 to Dec. 2.

Many people are citing the threat of the omicron variant as a reason why they are choosing to get booster shots.

First responder Dexter McLaurin gets booster shot, Dec. 6, 2021
First responder Dexter McLaurin gets his COVID-19 booster shot.

"With the new variant that's going on, I thought it was important for me to get this, extra precaution to be vaccinated," said first responder Dexter McLaurin, who got his booster shot.

Even though omicron cases are increasing in the U.S., the delta variant is still causing the majority of COVID-19 cases.

"Are you seeing more people interested in getting their booster shots?" asked reporter Michelle Quesada.

"They're concerned about when can they get it, and should they get it and how effective it's going to be against the omicron [variant]," said infectious disease specialist Dr. Olayemi Osiyemi.

Osiyemi said with holiday gatherings occurring this month, it's important to be cautious.  

In the last month, the Health Care District of Palm Beach County has administered about 1,500 shots while partnering with the Palm Beach County Schools District.

Every day the mobile unit is at a different location.

Dr. Olayemi Osiyemi speaks about booster shots, Dec. 6, 2021
Dr. Olayemi Osiyemi says many of his patients are wondering if the COVID-19 vaccines will be effective against the omicron variant.

At Freedom Shores Elementary in Boynton Beach, parents were bringing in their children Monday for shots and were getting the booster themselves.

At the Lantana site, the Health Care District's mobile clinic administered about 100 shots in two days, last Monday and Tuesday alone.

The Health Care District of Palm Beach County's mobile vaccine unit will continue rotating schools this month offering free vaccines to anyone over the age of 5 years old.  

Click here for the Health Care District's vaccination locations and times.

Click here for the latest vaccination information from the School District of Palm Beach County.