Deciding on COVID vaccine boosters ahead of the holidays


DES MOINES, Iowa — The omicron strain is circulating in Iowa and forcing difficult decisions for upcoming holiday get-togethers.

The message from officials remains for people to get vaccinated and boosted against COVID-19.

Some are receptive and eager, including Ann Hanson who got her third shot as soon as she was eligible.

“I wanted to protect myself from any of the variants, and that was actually before omicron and delta was present at that point in time, and to protect others as well,” Hanson explained.

Others are more measured.

“I have not gotten a booster yet,” Ty Howard said. “There’s not a sense of urgency. I don’t know what it’s going to do so, you know, in due time.”

Ahead of Christmas gatherings, some are putting faith in others to make the right decisions.

“It’s such a personal decision for people and if they feel protected with just the two then that’s great,” Amanda Olson said, “but if you want a booster just to make yourself and your loved one feel better then I think that’s cool too.”

Data from the Iowa Department of Public Health show just over 55% of Iowans are fully vaccinated. The next challenge will be to define what “fully vaccinated” means, the initial two shots or including a booster?

“Until we know for sure exactly every variant, whatever that will ever be, will know that we’re fully vaxed,” Jake Hubner said, “but for now I think that I’m doing pretty good and if it comes to the point where it needs another one I’ll be willing for it.”

“If there were future boosters required, I would be glad to get the booster … as many as needed,” Hanson said.

“Do what you gotta do,” Howard said. “If you feel comfortable with it, do it. If you don’t feel comfortable with it, don’t do it.

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