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Santa Barbara County public health urging vaccines, booster shots ahead of Holiday season

"Get a COVID booster shot" ahead of the holidays and if you're a parent, "get your kids vaccinated as soon as possible."

That message coming from Dr. Henning Ansorg during his weekly update on NewsChannel 3 Midday.

He says now is the time as we approach the travel season and holiday season. He added full protection against the highly-transmissible Delta variant takes a series of shots: two vaccinations and one booster. That's similar to Tetanus, Polio and Hepatitis B, Ansorg said.

When it comes to "natural immunity," Ansorg says there's not enough data to suggest that's enough with this new virus.

"I would suggest, please get a vaccination because just to bank on your natural immunity may backfire because it may not last longer than four to six months."

There is a wait time for younger children now eligible to be vaccinated, in some cases, not until January. Ansorg urged people to seek other options including pharmacies that offer it .

Ansorg added that public health is also doing some vaccination clinics at schools, mostly in the northern and central parts of the county.

He recommends the website for parents encountering long wait times to get their kids vaccinated.

As for safe holiday gatherings, stick with people who are vaccinated or purchase over-the-counter tests head of time. Also, limit time indoors and avoid "really big crowds."

Ansorg warns the nation is trending behind Europe, which is currently seeing a "significant" uptick in COVID-19 cases.

"We are not putting up any more red tape. We are very generous, anybody who feels that they are at higher risk or want to feel safer, please go ahead and get your booster shot," Ansorg said.

He said unfortunately, public health is anticipating and preparing for another wave of cases this winter.

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Beth Farnsworth

Beth Farnsworth is the evening anchor for KEYT NewsChannel 3. To learn more about Beth, click here

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