Santa Clara County health leaders are urging all eligible adults to get a COVID-19 booster shot ahead of the holidays.
The decision comes after federal rules limiting Pfizer and Moderna booster shots to people over 65-years-old, people with health problems or anyone with a high risk job, were lifted.
Eligible residents, such as Roy Scialabba, can get vaccinated at the Santa Clara County Fairgrounds in San Jose.
Scialabba is counting the days until his 80th birthday party, but he wants to have peace of mind at his celebration. In order to do so, he is once again rolling up his sleeve, this time for a COVID-19 booster shot.
"I thought it was part of the deal," he said, "you start something you really need to finish it and also I want to protect everybody. I want to protect myself."
County health leaders want to make sure everyone understands that the booster shot has been expanded beyond initial guidelines of eligibility to those over the age of 65 and people at risk
"Everybody is pretty much eligible for a booster," said Dr. Marty Fenstersheib with the Santa Clara County Public Health Department. "We want everyone to have a safe holiday and remind people that their immunity with the current vaccines drop everytime."
Once a person gets a booster shot, it takes one to two weeks to get the full protection which is why health leaders insist in that you need to be fully protected during holiday travel and gatherings.
"Only 20% of people who need a vaccine have actually gotten one," Dr. Sara Cody said, "and it's very important to do now before Thanksgiving.
The shot may cause low grade fever and other mild symptoms, but doctors say the benefits outweigh the risks.
"It's much more important to put up with one bad day and receive all those benefits."