Wheaton Mall hosts 'Boosterama' clinics to help people get COVID-19 booster shots

Montgomery County officials are holding a series of "Boosterama" clinics to help get COVID-19 booster shots into more arms.

The event dedicated to getting more people boosted against COVID-19 was held at Wheaton Mall on Saturday. In addition to this weekend's event, booster clinics will be held at the mall every day from 3 to 6 p.m. and every Saturday from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Health experts say the event is necessary to help get people boosted against COVID-19, as the virus continues to evolve and the holiday travel season is coming up. It gave people a chance to get the newest bivalent booster shot, which protects against the original COVID-19 virus and the Omicron variant.

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FOX 5 was at the event Saturday and spoke to a family that says they are staying cautious about COVID-19.

"If everyone just stays a little more vigilant for a little while longer we will all have a great holiday season," said Dan Monahan, who brought family to "Boosterama" event. "For me maybe this isn’t so much of a big deal that I get sick or even for the kids but now for my mother who is getting on in years if she gets sick again it could be very bad for her."

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According to health experts, Montgomery County is performing slightly better than the national average when it comes to people who have received the new booster.

Estimates show that about 12 percent of all Montgomery County residents have received the shot, meaning that the county is performing slightly better than the national average. Despite this, health experts are hoping more people 50 years and older get the shot.

They warn that while the infection rate is currently low, just like in the past couple of years, it is expected to increase once people start to gather for the holidays.

"The virus has adapted to the new environment and we have new strains of the virus and new bivalent vaccine is going to protect us," said Dr. César Palacios, the executive director of Proyecto Salud Clinic. "It’s getting colder, we get inside we have little parties and it’s all good but the situation is that we need to be protected with the booster shots in these cases."

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Health experts recognize that, despite the ongoing pandemic, a majority of the population is a becoming a bit more relaxed now, so they are hoping people will remain vigilant.

"There are less hospitalizations and less really severe diseases and less deaths concerning this, and that is a huge success, but that doesn’t mean there are in vulnerable communities."