LOS ANGELES (CNS) — Speaking as both a mayor and someone who recently experienced a breakthrough COVID-19 case, Mayor Eric Garcetti Wednesday urged all Angelenos over the age of 18 to get a booster shot as a possible winter surge looms.
"I was fortunate because in the days that I isolated, I had a mild fever for a day, some cold-like symptoms, lost my taste and smell for a few days, but then was fully recovered. Probably thanks to the vaccine that I got earlier this year," Garcetti said.
Garcetti added that he had not received a booster before testing positive because he was waiting for a free Saturday in case he experienced side effects from the shot. Garcetti tested positive for the virus on Nov. 3 while in Glasgow, Scotland for the United Nations Climate Change Conference.
Garcetti warned on Friday of a possible surge heading for Los Angeles as temperatures drop, noting that the United Kingdom is experiencing a surge in cases.
"They've often been ahead of our surges, and we can expect this to hit us here in the coming weeks and months," Garcetti said. "The colder temperatures and increased time spent indoors just always make it easier for viruses, including COVID-19, to spread."
Garcetti added that the seven-day positivity rate in the city is more than double what it was a couple of weeks ago, going from 0.4% to 0.9%.
"This reflects a worrying trend that often are the early indicators of a surge that's coming," Garcetti said.
Another 1,284 cases were reported in Los Angeles County Wednesday, giving the county a cumulative total from throughout the pandemic of 1,514,282. The county also reported another 22 COVID-19 deaths on Wednesday, raising the overall death toll to 26,923.
As of last week, 81% of county residents aged 12 and over have received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, and 73% are fully vaccinated. Of the county's overall 10.3 million population, 70% have received at least one dose, and 63% are fully vaccinated.
"The fact is this. If you are unvaccinated, you're 44 times more likely than someone fully vaccinated to be hospitalized and even worse, 60 times more likely to die," Garcetti said.
For those who are confused about guidance on the booster shot, Garcetti simplified it, saying that anyone over the age of 18 should go get a booster.
"The booster shot will significantly increase the number of antibodies that are in your body. It will make your shield stronger ... and waning immunity is why we're seeing the breakthrough cases," Garcetti said.