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Experts urge more booster shots, testing as winter approaches

A COVID-19 testing site at San Diego State University. Jan. 15, 2021.
Alexander Nguyen
A COVID-19 testing site at San Diego State University. Jan. 15, 2021.

As Americans gather indoors for the holidays, health officials continue to push the distribution of booster doses of the COVID-19 vaccine across the nation.

Recently, Dr. Anthony Fauci recommended that the “overwhelming majority of Americans” should get an additional dose - a sentiment echoed by health officials as they begin to acknowledge that "fully vaccinated" now means having received a booster.

Meanwhile, other nations previously regarded as model countries in their handling of the pandemic are now grappling with renewed lockdowns and winter surges.

With many families gathering again for the Thanksgiving holiday Thursday, health officials are continuing to press Americans to abide by COVID health and safety protocols to keep case numbers down in the months ahead.

Those protocols include being fully vaccinated, with a booster shot six months after the initial vaccination; masking; social distancing and washing your hands.

Dr. Eric Topol, director of the Scripps Research Translational Institute in La Jolla, stressed that widespread, cheap testing remains one of the best tools in the fight against COVID.

Despite this, Topol said that the nation's handling in distributing tests is deeply flawed.

"In countries that are successful, even in managing the Delta wave, they have free tests for everyone - an ample supply," Topol said. "There's just no excuse that this country hasn't got this right yet."

Topol joined Midday Edition on Wednesday with what precautions should be taken as the holidays approach.