Jan 9, 2022 - Health

Mass vaccination sites return across the U.S. amid COVID surge

Photo: John Tlumacki/The Boston Globe via Getty Images

Photo: John Tlumacki/The Boston Globe via Getty Images

Mass-vaccination sites are returning across the U.S. as officials scramble to address a recent uptick in coronavirus infections, largely driven by the Omicron variant, the New York Times reports.

Why it matters: Large vaccination sites had served a significant role during the onset of the U.S. vaccine rollout, the Times notes. The re-emergence of these sites may prove to be instrumental in alleviating the toll on smaller clinics.

Driving the news: Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker announced Friday his state will open up new mass vaccination sites to meet a growing demand for booster shots.

  • Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, Oregon and Rhode Island have either opened up sites, or plan to, per Wall Street Journal.

State of play: The U.S. saw a 225% increase in new cases in the two weeks leading up to Jan. 6. Though Omicron appears to cause less severe illness, the surge in infections has posed a significant burden on health care systems that are already stretched thin.

Worth noting: Initial studies have found that prior coronavirus infections appear to be much less protective against Omicron than with other variants.

  • Though 62.5% of the country has been vaccinated, concerns over the new strain have driven many people to seek out boosters, per the Times.
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