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Kansas City physician urges people to get COVID booster before traveling for the holidays

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A sign posted outside a vaccination site setup reads "COVID-19 vaccine site, by appointment only".
Matt Rourke
The CDC reported earlier this December that only 17% of adults and 7% of children have received the updated coronavirus vaccine, which targets more recent strains.

The CDC reported this month that only 17% of adults and 7% of children have received the updated COVID vaccine, which targets more recent coronavirus strains. But it’s never too late to get boosted, especially if you're hopping on a plane for Christmas break.

The newest COVID-19 vaccines rolled out earlier this fall, but not many Americans have shown interest in getting boosted.

While coronavirus hospitalizations in Kansas City are relatively low at the moment, that could change in the new year as more people travel and gather around the holidays.

Sarah Boyd, an infectious disease physician at St. Luke's Health System, said there are a lot of reasons people might be hesitant to get the newest COVID booster.

“I think some of it is, you know, when the national health emergency ended, people said, 'OK, it's over.’ And even though that emergency response period is over, the illness is still circulating,” Boyd told KCUR's Up To Date.

Boyd recommends finding local vaccine appointment availability at Vaccines.gov.

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When I host Up To Date each morning at 9, my aim is to engage the community in conversations about the Kansas City area’s challenges, hopes and opportunities. I try to ask the questions that listeners want answered about the day’s most pressing issues and provide a place for residents to engage directly with newsmakers. Reach me at steve@kcur.org or on Twitter @stevekraske.
Claudia Brancart is an Up To Date producer for KCUR 89.3. She graduated from Pitzer College in Los Angeles where she majored in World Literature and Studio Art. You can reach her at claudiab@kcur.org.
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