Boosted for Thanksgiving? Demand for COVID-19 shots is up after CDC expands eligibility

According to the CDC, in the past two weeks, new COVID-19 cases are up 51% in NJ, 43% in Pa., 55% in Philly and 32% in Del.

Trish Hartman Image
Tuesday, November 23, 2021
Boosted for Thanksgiving? Demand is up after CDC expands eligibility
The Thanksgiving rush is on for people who want COVID-19 booster shots.

TRENTON, New Jersey (WPVI) -- The Thanksgiving rush is on for people who want COVID-19 booster shots.

Jen Cooke and Tom Szumowski, of Titusville, New Jersey, were at Medical Home Pharmacy in Trenton on Monday, one of the places offering walk-in COVID-19 vaccines, including boosters.

"We have some family coming to our house. We're hosting Thanksgiving so we wanted to make sure everybody would feel as safe as possible. So I got boosted," Cook said.

"We're going to have people over for the holidays, we plan on cracking windows and kind of keeping a little safe. Because we do have a daughter who's under 5," said Szumowski.

After the CDC took action Friday making booster shots available to all adults, more vaccinated people started signing up for boosters.

Pharmacies that require appointments are booking up quickly.

Folks at Medical Home Pharmacy say they've seen a lot of walk-ins recently.

"Walk-ins are important because some patients, especially the elderly patients, they cannot make appointments," said owner Mehmed Ugur, who works with the organization Trenton Health Team to provide vaccines. "Some of them don't have computers or internet at home."

COVID-19 cases are rising across the Delaware Valley area.

According to data from the CDC, in the past two weeks new cases are up 51% in New Jersey, 43% in Pennsylvania, 55% in Philadelphia and 32% in Delaware.

New Jersey officials said one year ago, before vaccines, the numbers looked much worse.

Still, they're hoping to prevent another post-holiday surge.

"Go out and get that booster especially as the holiday season is now here and many of us will be gathering with families this year much more like prior to the pandemic. We do not want to see cases spike," said Gov. Phil Murphy during Monday's COVID-19 briefing in Trenton.

Also at that briefing, New Jersey State Police Col. Pat Callahan said the state plans to open an additional site to help meet the demand for booster shots in Burlington County within the next couple of weeks.