Demand for COVID booster, vaccine for kids creates competition for supply

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CAPITAL REGION, N.Y. (NEWS10) — As of Monday night, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention strengthened its recommendation on COVID-19 booster doses to include anyone 18 years and older. But securing an appointment for the shot may prove to be a bit of a challenge.

You may have already found that scheduling a COVID-19 booster shot that’s fewer than one or a couple weeks out can be a bit of a challenge. Or even finding one that’s close to home.

New York State Assemblyman John McDonald is a longtime pharmacist with Marra’s Pharmacy in Cohoes. He and others in healthcare have noticed that the demand for booster shots is beginning to outpace the readily available supply.

“We are starting recently, particularly within the last week or two, a renewed interest in people getting a booster,” says McDonald.

“There’s been very strong demand. And that’s evidenced through our data,” said Dr. Daniel Kuhles.

Kuhles is a physician and epidemiologist as well as the Saratoga County Commissioner of Public Health.

“For example, our senior population, 57 percent of our seniors have received their booster dose,” says Kuhles.

The Pfizer, Moderna and Johnson & Johnson vaccines are now available as boosters to anyone 18 and older.
The shot is free, and unlike getting the initial doses, you can mix or match the brand when it comes to the booster. But Kuhles says the key messages is to get a booster dose as soon as you are able to.

Warren County Spokesman Don Lehman says the booster is now competing with a high demand for vaccinations for children 11 years old and younger. He says it’s making for extremely busy times for their vaccination team.

Health officials say they are looking forward to the reopening of their mass vaccination site in Queensbury on Wednesday.

With the Omicron variant spreading, McDonald says he has noticed a renewed interest in the COVID vaccine overall.

“And actually, I’ve had people coming in for their first and second doses, which is good.”

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