A new study out of Israel shows that three shots of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine provide a significant amount of protection against the new omicron variant of the virus.
The Sheba Medical Center and Israel’s Health Ministry revealed the findings on Saturday.
With COVID cases on the rise in Massachusetts, experts and officials are pushing everyone eligible to get vaccinated and to get their booster shots.
More than 200 people walked into the vaccine clinic at the Chelsea Senior Center on Sunday looking to fend off COVID-19 and its variants. Many were there to receiver their booster amid concerns about holiday gatherings and the omicron variant.
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Ashley Ramos, and her dad, Felix, made it part of their outing together Sunday to visit the clinic in Chelsea.
COVID-19 in Mass.
“Our cases have been rising recently,” revealed City of Chelsea spokeswoman Lourdes Alvarez. “In the past two to three weeks we have seen a substantial amount of new cases."
The rise in infections across Massachusetts has doctors like Michael Misialek, a pathologist at Newton-Wellesley Hospital, concerned about what that means for the omicron variant.
“It's setting up a perfect storm here in that many people may have declining antibodies, there's a new variant on the scene, the weather is turning colder, people are moving indoors, and it's the holiday season,” noted Misialek.
Misialek believes new variants will continue to emerge as long as there continues to be pockets of unvaccinated people.
Ramos is no longer one of them, she got her first COVID-19 shot thanks to her dad who brought her to the clinic.
“I was so dramatic,” admitted Ramos after receiving her first dose. “I was literally biting my shoulder for it to not happen, and when it happened, I was like 'oh, that doesn't hurt.'”
Her dad tried to get a booster shot, but he came in too soon – five months after his last dose. He'll be eligible to get his booster next month, and for now, he said he’s happy at least that his daughter is more protected and can enjoy the holidays with less worry.
“That made me feel like she's going to be safe,” he said.
The Chelsea Senior Center has all three COVID-19 vaccines and boosters available for all eligible age groups. The vaccine clinic takes walk-ins and is open Friday through Monday.