Interest in COVID boosters jump in Delaware County as cases of virus increase

Delaware County is now recording about 50 Covid hospitalizations per day, up from an average of 33 the week before.
UPPER DARBY, Pennsylvania (WPVI) -- This holiday season, COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations are sharply on the rise in Delaware County, Pennsylvania.

But the county is also seeing a jump in the number of people rushing out to get their booster shots.

County officials report a large increase in people coming out to get their booster shots at the COVID-19 vaccine clinic inside SEPTA's 69th Street Terminal in Upper Darby.

"I've heard they're getting more severe in certain places and Pennsylvania is on the rise, so better to do it now," said Kacey Willard of Drexel Hill.

"I'll be traveling soon so I want to get my booster, that's why. I think you're more protected when you have the booster," said Anester Spence of Upper Darby.

SEE ALSO: Pfizer says booster dose of COVID vaccine offers protection against omicron variant
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Pfizer said lab tests showed a booster dose increased by 25-fold the level of so-called neutralizing antibodies against omicron.

Dr. Lisa O'Mahony, the interim physician advisor for Delaware County, says the county's case count continues to increase.

"I think we're really experiencing the winter months that we tend to see an increase in respiratory viruses, and delta is no different," said Dr. O'Mahony.

Officials say Delaware County is now recording about 50 COVID hospitalizations per day, up from an average of 33 the week before. However, county officials say hospitals are not beyond capacity.

On Thursday, the Food and Drug Administration gave emergency authorization for 16- and 17-year-olds to get a third dose of the vaccine made by Pfizer and its partner BioNTech. And hours later, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention lifted the last barrier - saying those teens should get their booster as soon as it's time.

The U.S. and many other nations already were urging adults to get booster shots to pump up immunity that can wane months after vaccination, calls that intensified with the discovery of the worrisome new omicron variant.

Delaware County will be sponsoring another vaccine clinic at the 69th Street Terminal next Thursday evening.

Officials also expect to extend the hours of operation and the number of clinics across the county to meet the growing demand.
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