Clinics and health centers all over Dallas are expecting an increase in booster shot demand over the next few weeks in light of the new Omicron variant of COVID-19. The first confirmed case of the latest coronavirus variant was confirmed in the U.S. on Wednesday.
According to a FOX 4 News report, pharmacists in Dallas are optimistic that there won’t be a supply issue even though they are going through vaccines faster.
South African scientists identified the Omicron variant and warned about it. The World Health Organization (WHO) also warned of the global risk posed by the new COVID-19 variant on Monday.
In light of the new COVID-19 variant, the US and other countries have banned travel from South Africa and many surrounding countries.
According to FOX 4 News, critics have pointed out that President Biden’s ban may not make a difference and that it sends the wrong message. Still, the president defended the ban and hopes it will give Americans enough time to get fully vaccinated.
Preston Road Pharmacy pharmacist, Tracy Acosta, told FOX 4 News that she was concerned when she heard from other chain pharmacies that all of their appointments had been booked following the news of the Omicron variant.
Acosta added that many patients have requested booster shots and are asking questions about the new COVID-19 variant.
“They want to know what the future will be, so we work with the information we have,” Accosta told FOX 4 News.
It is still unclear if existing vaccines will be effective against the Omicron variant, but Acosta said she hasn’t read anything that would make her concerned that the vaccines will not work against the new strain of the virus.
“It’s a little wait and see. I always am on the side of caution,” Acosta said.
The omicron variant has been detected in seventeen countries, including the United States. According to CNN, a case of the Omicron coronavirus was confirmed in California on Wednesday in a person who had traveled from South Africa a week ago.
The unidentified individual was reportedly fully vaccinated with the Moderna vaccine and experienced only mild symptoms. Officials say the individual was self-quarantined, and, so far, none of the patient’s close contacts have tested positive for the virus.