BRYAN, Texas — The holiday season calls for an increase in travel.
However, with the now expanded authorization of booster shots it strikes a new question in 2021 - are travelers concerned about a COVID-19 surge?
Indeed, as the holidays approach next week, travelers are hitting the road.
”We’re going to the deer lease today," Said Timothy Huggins, a holiday traveler. "It's a lot of money spent to buy a lot of stuff, and things are expensive now,”
For Huggins and his family, contracting COVID-19 is not as much of a concern as inflation caused by the recent instability in the international supply chain.
“No, not at all," added Huggins. "Life's the same for us right now. It hasn’t slowed us down, so that’s good. We’ve all had COVID so we’re moved on from it and just living like normal,”
But local health experts say while vaccination efforts and booster shots are being utilized, they’re not ruling out holiday spikes.
”We do have to be aware of the potential for another surge, unfortunately, with each major holiday, we do see a spike in cases,” said Dr. Jason McKnight, primary care and population health expert, Texas A&M.
Staying ahead of the possibility of a surge, the CDC and FDA have recently expanded emergency use authorization of Moderna booster shots. Those 18 and older living or working in high-risk settings can now receive their booster shot just ahead of the holiday season.
“Even though we do see spikes in cases we’re able to manage those and with vaccine efforts, we kind of decrease the strain on the health care system and decrease the death and hospitalization rate and we learn to deal with it,” said Dr. McKnight.
According to the Brazos County Health Department, the hospitalization rate sits at a low three percent, while nearly half of the 5 and older population have been fully vaccinated.
Moderna and Pfizer vaccine recipients must wait 6 months after their second dose to receive a booster shot. Meanwhile, J&J booster shots are given to those 2 months after their single dose.
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