OAKLAND (KPIX) — Although it may seem the COVID pandemic is drifting into the past, the fight to control the virus continues.
“I think our initial goal was to tackle the unvaccinated folks, specifically young adults,” said Hae Won Rhow at the Oakland YMCA. “We know that that’s a big need in our community.”
The Oakland Y thought it would be seeing a lot of unvaccinated youth on Saturday day but then event partner La Clinica expanded the eligibility pool.
“And so we are seeing a huge number of folks coming in for booster shots,” Rhow said.
“So we’ve been paying close attention to the news, following along, and they said booster shots were coming available for Pfizer,” said Beverly Jarrett. “So we were excited.”
Jarrett was like many of those driving traffic at the clinic — people who, because of their age, health or employment, are now eligible for their booster.
“Being in a school, every time you have a symptom you have to stay home,” said high school teacher Becca Burns. “Whatever we can do to combat the fear … of not being vaccinated, that’s why I’m here.”
“I’m still nervous about people and crowds,” Jarrett said. “Especially since there are still people who are not vaccinated.”
So, with 76 percent of Oakland residents fully vaccinated, a new, overlapping phase of the effort is unfolding. Call it the booster wave, with the Delta wave now perhaps in the past.
“We’re seeing some positives and it’s nice that so many events are happening and things are happening that people feel they can get back to whatever the new normal will be,” Rhow said. “But we’re still in it. If we can get folks vaccinated, get people their booster shots, we’re just a little bit closer to seeing the light at the end of the tunnel.”