'Through the roof': Demand for COVID boosters soars after California lifts eligibility restrictions

MyTurn lifted restrictions for COVID-19 booster shots, meaning demand is now outweighing supply.
SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- Coronavirus booster shots are in high demand across the Bay Area now that California has officially opened vaccine appointments to all adults, with no restrictions.

But finding an appointment before the holidays may not be easy.

"What we say in our family is major goal accomplished, that's how I feel today," said Sarah McKenna from San Anselmo.

McKenna is feeling lucky after scoring an appointment for her booster shot at at a pop-up vaccine clinic at Northgate Mall in San Rafael.

RELATED: SF residents struggle to secure COVID booster appts before holidays

Medical staff say demand for boosters is through the roof.

"The demand has increased over the last couple of days now since eligibility criteria has opened up," said Nurse Dawn Weathersby, Vaccine Branch Director from Marin County Public Health Department.

That means long lines after California's online vaccine appointment system, MyTurn, lifted restrictions for the shot. Now, any fully vaccinated adult can get one.

Wendy Sissel finally found a shot after a long search.

"Costco, Rite Aid, CVS, Safeway... then I think I gave up after that," she said.

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There is now widespread confusion in California about who can book a booster appointment and how.

ABC7 looked for booster appointments through pharmacies like CVS but couldn't find a single one nearby.

Rite Aid gave us a pop up notification that we didn't qualify for the vaccine based on current regulations, apparently new rules hadn't been updated.

Myturn.CA.gov gave us an appointment, but not until December 18th.
Ranier Sanchez from San Francisco contacted ABC7 News, looking for a shot for his wife.

"My frustration is there was only one site when I entered 94110, other locations popped up in Oakland," Sanchez said.

RELATED: CA health officials encourage all adults to get booster shots as winter surge fears grow

He later found an appointment in San Mateo for next week.

The message to those still seeking a booster shot: be patient.

"People have a sense of urgency because the holidays are coming, there will be more appointments opening up over the next several weeks," said Weathersby.

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