Officials urge eligible residents to get COVID-19 booster shot

NORRISTOWN, Pennsylvania (WPVI) -- The holidays are just around the corner, and officials are urging eligible individuals to get the COVID-19 booster shot.

"Colder weather coming, holidays coming, people gathering, more COVID fatigue, other things that can impact us as well," said New Jersey Department of Health Medical Director Dr. Edward Lifshitz.

Officials said they don't want to return to the restrictions of 2020.

Of the more than 5.7 million New Jersey residents who are fully vaccinated, about 5.6% have received a booster dose, according to the 6abc Data Journalism team.

RELATED: COVID vaccine mandate for NJ teachers, state workers takes effect

Monday was the deadline for Garden State workers, teachers and employees at state-run universities to be fully vaccinated.

"Got the booster to be able to go out without a mask, to go on vacation, to come into the office to work," said Terry McLaughlin, of Hatfield.

The 6abc Data Journalism team found 5.6% of Pennsylvania residents who are fully vaccinated have received their third shot.

On Tuesday, dozens of people arrived at the Montgomery County Norristown clinic, including Cynthia White who said she had a heart condition.

RELATED: Philadelphia vaccine mandate begins with first shot requirement

"I don't want to catch nothing," said White. "I got my flu shot... and booster and I'm good to go."

Later this week, federal regulators are expected to authorize the mixing and matching of booster shots. The FDA is also expected to approve booster shots for Moderna and Johnson & Johnson vaccines.

"Because it's going to give us more immunity so we will be able to see our family members, get together for Thanksgiving and feel that we are better protected, and therefore our family members are better protected," said Judith Meier, of East Norriton.

The City of Philadelphia issued a mandate that all city employees must be vaccinated against the virus or wear a double mask by September 1. They report that 33% of employees are fully vaccinated so far, but they say they believe that number is much higher.
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