YORK, Pa. — Vaccines are rolling off the assembly line, as doctors across the country work to tackle a new surge in COVID-19 cases.
This marks the first vaccination effort since the expiration of the COVID-19 public health emergency early this year. Despite this, the CDC recently launched its “Bridge to Access Program” to allow pharmacies to provide vaccines for the roughly 25 million uninsured Americans.
“I am strongly recommending the COVID shots basically for everyone because it will help slow down the disease," said Dr. John Goldman, an infectious disease expert with UPMC. “If we have more people vaccinated, there will be fewer people ending up in the hospital, and fewer people dying.”
The CDC reports roughly 18,900 people were hospitalized with COVID in the first week of September—numbers not seen since last March. However—Dr. Goldman believes the case counts will still remain lower, compared to previous COVID surges.
“There’s a lot of pre-existing immunity, so I think it’s going to spread more slowly, there will be fewer cases, many fewer hospitalizations, and many fewer deaths," said Dr. Goldman.
A recent Reuters poll found that 54-percent of Americans showed interest in getting the COVID booster, while 30-percent said they had no interest in getting their booster.
Despite new cases being lower than previous surges, Dr. Goldman said you should get your booster to protect yourself and your loved ones.
“If you’re young and healthy, getting the shot is as important to protecting your parents, grandparents, and any elderly person you come in contact with, as it is getting it for yourself," said Dr. Goldman.