SAN ANGELO, Texas (KLST/ KSAN) – The COVID surge continues in the Concho Valley, but the FDA-approved Pfizer booster may alleviate some of the congestion at hospitals. The general public won’t be able to receive the shot until September 20th, but it’s available at Shannon Medical Center for those who are considered Immunocompromised.

According to Doug Schultz, Shannon Chief Medical Officer, Shannon Hospital has given about 200 Boosters so far to people in that category.

The booster comes as Shannon Medical Center says it is at capacity with 80 beds filled. However, they say it can expand if the surge in delta cases continues. The vaccine will be important in possibly reducing cases.

Schultz explains, “The FDA gave full approval to the Pfizer vaccine yesterday, and I think a lot of people were waiting on that, to you know, make them more comfortable. I think that’s a great sign and so if anybody is out there waiting on that, it’s time to come on down. We’re open five days a week, we’re ready to give you a vaccine, and the more people you vaccinate the faster, we’re going to stop this, this delta variant.”

As for if this booster will be an annual necessity, he continues, “It’s important to monitor the different variants that are going to be mutating and that will dictate whether we need yearly booster like the flu shot because it mutates every year. If this one doesn’t mutate very much it stays, with the delta variant, for example, you probably wouldn’t need a yearly booster.”

Free vaccinations are available for anyone age 12 or over at the Shannon South Campus on Knickerbocker Road. You can walk in or make an appointment online.