Many people filling booster shot appointments, getting tested for COVID ahead of holidays

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Holiday prep is looking a little different this year as many people are wanting to make sure they’re negative for COVID or have a booster dose before they gather with family this weekend. At a booster clinic in Warren County Tuesday night, the county was booked for appointments.

The season to be jolly has quickly become a scramble for tests and booster shots—as the Omicron variant of COVID-19 spreads in New York.

“I think it’s the right thing to do,” Peter Stanistreet, getting his booster shot Tuesday.

Many of the people NewsChannel 13 talked to Tuesday were getting boosted before seeing family for the holidays.

“My mom is old, my parents are old, they’re in their 90s and I want to be as safe as I can to take care of them,” Stanistreet said.

Governor Hochul is pushing the booster as the ticket to a safe family gathering. In Warren County, you have to move quickly to get an appointment.

“In the last 3 weeks in particular, every booster clinic we’ve had has been booked pretty quickly, within a day or two,” said Warren County Public Affairs Director Don Lehman.

With many people now eligible, he says his county has one of the highest rates of people with a booster shot, as reported by the state.

“I think a lot of people see that we’re heading into an uncertain period and it’s time to make sure we have that little extra protection,” he said.

Lehman says another important tool to combat the omicron variant is testing. More kits are expected in Warren County this week. He’s hoping those will be available especially to parents when school is back in session next year.

“Those will be pretty important for people to have if you’re going to send a kid to school or a kid to a practice and you want to make sure if they have a headache or whatever that it’s not COVID, these home test kits will be pretty important to helping people figure out how to move forward,” he said.

Governor Hochul said Monday that less than half of eligible new Yorkers have had their booster shot. Her administration is hoping people take advantage of clinics before the holidays.