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Lee Health encourage booster shots as they brace for next COVID surge

booster shots
Posted at 5:34 PM, Dec 16, 2021
and last updated 2021-12-16 18:16:48-05

FORT MYERS, Fla — Lee Health says they want more people to get the COVID-19 booster shot after seeing a rise in positive cases for the month of December.

“We think we are probably on the cusp of another surge of some sort,” said Dr.Stephanie Stovall, Infectious Disease specialist for Lee Health.

Stovall says COVID cases are back on the rise after reaching an all-time low during the month of November.

“What we are seeing more of, is more calls of people with respiratory illness, we are seeing more calls of people telling us that they have been tested and they’re positive,” said Stovall.

Dr. Stovall says every year they see a rise in respiratory illnesses during the holidays due to more people gathering, but tell Fox 4 the latest threat from the Omicron variant has them pushing for more people to get their booster shot.

“People who are boosted are likely to have the same protection against severe disease and hospitalization that those people who had full vaccination when Delta came forward," said Stovall.

Lee Health also says the rise in seasonal visitors coming to Southwest Florida also plays a factor in how quickly the virus is spreading.

Lee Health officials say booster shots can help everyone stop the spread.

A message, visitors like Mike Newman, who traveled to Southwest Florida from Canada, agree with.

“I just got here a few weeks ago and I had a little bit of a cold but I’m good now and I am going in maybe this weekend for my booster,” said Newman.

Lee Health says boosters are available to anyone ages 16 and older who received their last dose of the vaccine at least six months ago or for those 18 years old and older who received their Johnson & Johnson vaccine at least two months ago.

Appointments for booster doses can be made at [].

Lee Health says there is no cost for the vaccine, and the booster dose doesn’t have to be the same vaccine brand as your initial vaccination.