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Santa Barbara County Public Health recommends COVID-19 booster shots especially for those most at risk

SANTA BARBARA, Calif. — Cooler temperatures are heading California’s way. As the temperature drops and the sun sets earlier, people tend to spend more time indoors. And health experts say when more people are indoors there’s a greater likelihood of COVID-19 spreading.

Santa Barbara County Emergency Medical Services systems coordinator, Matt Higgs, said, “The vaccine has shown to be very effective in preventing serious illness, hospitalization and death.”

Two-thirds of Americans have received at least one dose of the vaccine. And three-quarters of Californians have gotten their first dose. But with concerns over a potential surge in cases this winter, health experts said boosters may be needed.

“There is some decrease in the protection, especially from getting infected, six months, eight months out from finishing the initial shot series," said Higgs. "So getting a booster shot reboosts those antibodies and enhances your protection in getting an infection.”

Public health officials are encouraging people, especially those at risk to get their COVID-19 vaccine and booster shot, if eligible, to prepare for the holiday season and winter weather. Right now those 65 and older are eligible, along with those who are at higher risk for infection. So far 43,000 people in Santa Barbara County have gotten a booster. And public health officials said it could be what’s needed to prevent a fifth wave.

“[More people vaccinated and boosted could lead to] lesser possibility of shutdowns, lesser possibility of our hospitals getting full with COVID patients," said Higgs. "You know, more normal interactions with everybody.”

To find where you can get your booster shot, visit the Santa Barbara County Public Health website or MyTurn.ca.gov.

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Scott Sheahen

Scott Sheahen is a reporter for NewsChannel 3-12. To learn more about Scott, click here.

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