Seminole County sees booster demand rise as omicron cases grow across the country

County plans to host vaccine events next week

SEM,INOLE COUNTY, Fla. – As more cases of the Omicron variant are confirmed across the country, Seminole County leaders said they are planning to host additional vaccination events to meet the demand for boosters.

Pfizer released new preliminary data on Wednesday that shows a booster dose of its vaccine provides more protection against omicron compared to the initial two-dose regimen.

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Pfizer said antibody levels capable of fighting omicron increased by 25-fold after the third dose.

Seminole County Emergency Manager Alan Harris reacted to the preliminary data.

“We have some promising news out of Pfizer. Looks like Moderna may be doing pretty well against omicron as well. That’s hopeful,” Harris said.

Harris said omicron is prompting more demand for boosters.

He said the county initially planned to wind down vaccine operations this weekend. Harris said as more cases of the new variant are confirmed across the country, more people are reaching out asking about boosters.

“A lot of the individuals that we’ve been seeing coming in are related to wanting to get their booster shot related to omicron,” Harris said.

We’ve seen an increase in booster shots over the last three months. According to the latest report from the Florida Department of Health, nearly 3 million Floridians have received a third dose.

Dr. Kelli Tice with Florida Blue said while the data is still being reviewed and scientists learn more about omicron, she hopes this news will encourage people to get vaccinated.

“The thing that we’ve got to ensure happens is folks who are unvaccinated and who are considering do really give thoughtful consideration to being vaccinated at this time so they can be protected,” Tice said. “And those who are fully vaccinated, but eligible for a booster dose, you need to go ahead and get that additional protection.”

Pfizier said it is working on an omicron-specific dose in case it is needed and that could be ready by March.

Click here for information on Seminole County vaccination events.