AKRON, Ohio — On a warm, spring day more than 200 people jumped at the chance to get a COVID-19 booster shot during a drive-thru clinic at Summit County Public Health.
Cars lined up throughout the day for the first drive-thru clinic at SCPH since December.
Denny Hanna, 79, of Akron, was among those who waited for his second booster, which marked his fourth shot since the pandemic started.
"If the vaccine is a good deterrent, why not take it?" Hanna said.
Hanna pointed out that he knows what it's like to be sick with the virus because he caught it early in the health crisis.
"We were sick three weeks. I gave it to my wife. I gave it to my daughter, so we were pretty sick," he said.
Stan Sheftel, 84, of Akron, also received his fourth shot at the clinic.
"It's safety. I don't want to wind up in the hospital," Sheftel said. "Not have to sit back and worry. I'm taken care of. If something happens, it happens."
Summit County Health Commissioner Donna Skoda said two factors led to organization of the clinic: The comfortable weather conditions on Tuesday, and a new recommendation from the CDC that people over the age of 50 get a second booster if it has been more than four months since their first booster.
When cases began spiking in December, SCPH vaccinated more than 1,000 people. Those numbers dipped to 298, 237, and 207 respectively in January, February and March.
"We really want people to be as boosted as you humanly can with evidence to support it," Skoda said.
In January, Summit County hit a high mark when more than 1,700 COVID-19 cases were reported in one day. That has since plummeted to 10 to 15 cases per day.
However, Skoda cautions that variants are wildly unpredictable.
"We don't really know exactly what the late summer or fall will hold. We do know BA.2 (subvariant) is out there circulating. We know it's more contagious, but we also know that if you've had Omicron, BA.1, or you have been vaccinated, you have antibodies to it," she said.
With that uncertainty, Hanna said he plans to return for boosters in the future as recommended.
"I'm of the opinion it's gonna be like the flu. You're gonna have to get a shot every year," he said.