The U.S. opened COVID-19 booster shots to all adults and took the extra step of urging people 50 and older to seek one, aiming to ward off a winter surge as coronavirus cases continue to rise.
Under the new rules, anyone 18 or older can choose either a Pfizer or Moderna booster shot six months after their last dose. For anyone who got the single-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine, the wait was just two months. And people can mix-and-match boosters from any company.
Foot traffic was steady at Conard High School in West Hartford for the West Hartford-Bloomfield Health District vaccine clinic. The health district held their first of two vaccine booster shot clinics on Friday afternoon.
The second vaccine clinic will happen Monday at the Bloomfield Senior Center from 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. at 330 Park Ave.
"We're looking at accessibility, easy access, we're encouraging, people 18 and over to get their booster shots," said Aimee Krauss, the health director for West Hartford-Bloomfield Health District. "I think it's a great benefit, there's no questions, no concerns, 'do I qualify, do I not.'"
"We're ready for it, we still have plenty of staff and dedicated vaccine hours," said Dr. Kimberly Metcalf, associate vice president of pharmacy and ancillary services for UConn Health. "With that booster, the data did show that immunity increased up to 95% and I think that's important."
Metcalf is also UConn Health's primary vaccine coordinator and tells NBC Connecticut staff will be prepared ahead of a possible rush of patients seeking a shot before the holidays.
"We will be allowing all adults 18 and older to schedule a booster to come on in," said Metcalf. "We're still open for any of those individuals who are immune-compromised and looking for that third dose."
CVS and Walgreens will offer booster shots to everyone beginning on Saturday.
UConn Health will host vaccine clinics on Monday from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. and Tuesday from 7:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. If you need to schedule an appointment, you can call 860-679-5589.