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Doctors: Plenty Of Time To Get COVID Booster Shot Before Holidays

WATERTOWN (CBS) - In Watertown Wednesday night, the wait for a COVID-19 shot was over an hour long. At Watertown Middle School, most patients were kids getting their second dose of the vaccine. But many adults were there, too, for a booster shot.

"At first, we were skeptical about, like do we need [the booster] or not?" explained Huguenf Alexis of Watertown. "But once we heard there was another variant out there, there's no taking chances."

Pfizer announced Wednesday that a third dose of its vaccine appears to offer protection against the new Omicron variant. "As expected, the antibody levels did have reduced activities against Omicron, but it wasn't reduced to zero, and the people who had the third shot had the best chance of having antibody activity against Omicron," Dr. Paul Sax, infectious disease expert at Brigham and Women's explained.

Add to that the fact that the booster dose appears to take effect faster than the initial vaccine series, and it's more motivation to get boosted before the holidays, he says.

"It appears since our immune systems have already been trained from the first vaccines, the antibody response to the third shot or the booster shot is faster even than after the second shot, which is good news," Sax explained. "It means you start getting protection almost right away within even a couple of days. Now I think people should still wait two weeks before they consider themselves fully boosted but it does happen faster which is good."

Parents in Watertown told WBZ they're hopeful that fully vaccinated kids and boosted adults will mean for a safe, somewhat normal Christmas season.

"It's still a little bit stressful traveling with three kids, one of whom is not vaccinated, but it does make it a little bit easier because there are too many other factors you can't control so at least we can control getting vaccinated," said Nicole O'Hern.

"We can see family! Last year we kind of stayed home and stayed local," said Huguenf Alexis. "This year we feel like we can see family, maybe have a party."

Massachusetts residents can use to find a full list of locations to receive a booster.

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