Rochester Regional Health doctor urges COVID-19 booster shots before holiday gatherings

Coronavirus

"I think it's important that we protect everyone in our lives," said man getting booster shot

ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — Dr. Emil Lesho with Rochester Regional Health says the whole region is seeing an uptick in serious COVID-19 infections. On Wednesday, Monroe County reported 607 new COVID infections, the highest single-day increase since January.

“The majority of the severe infections, 9 out of 10 in the ICU, are unvaccinated,” says Lesho.

Lesho also says when it comes to vaccines, we now know that protections from them diminish over time. “When you get out to about the eight-month mark, your level of protection is quite a bit lower,” he says.

He says you could get a re-infection or ‘breakthrough’ case of COVID. A good preventative measure he says is a booster shot. Side effects he said can happen, but they are rare. 

“Whatever reaction you might have had to the first shot, pretty much that’s the type of reaction you can expect with the booster.”

Martha Mevrach got her booster shot at the Fleet Center Wednesday and says whatever the side effects might be, it’s worth getting. For Thanksgiving plans, we’ll have to wait and see. 

“Might take it easy. We’ll see how it feels. It’s okay, it’s a holiday. But it’s worth the side effects, they go away. It’s better than getting COVID,” she says.

Michael Read is getting his booster but sadly he called off Thanksgiving this year. “We normally do 100 people for dinner, but too many people tested positive so we canceled Thanksgiving,” says Read.

Terry Gamble feels a booster in this weather, as more are going indoors, is essential. “Because I don’t want to get sick and if I get sick, I want it to be mild,” she says.

Josh Jacobs’ booster he says is for the close quarters to come. “I’m celebrating with my boyfriend’s parents tomorrow for Thanksgiving, and they’re older. I think it’s important that we protect everyone in our lives,” he says.

Lesho says if you’re worried about feeling down and out after your booster shot, schedule it for a day off. 

“The side effects almost always go away after a day or two,” says Lesho. He also said if you got Pfizer or Moderna, you can ‘mix and match’ for the booster shot. 

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