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Demand for COVID-19 tests, booster shots ramping up ahead of holidays

Published: Nov. 22, 2021 at 6:29 PM EST
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CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) - Demand for vaccines, booster shots and tests are going up ahead of the holidays.

“I just want to make sure that I’m alright,” John Nix told WBTV as he waited for a test at StarMed on Tuckaseegee Road in west Charlotte on Monday.

Nix is fully vaccinated but he’s still getting tested before he heads to reunite with family this Thanksgiving.

“This year will be different because I’ll be around my family because I haven’t really been around them in the last two years,” he said.

He’s one of many people testing before the turkey.

The good news is drive-thru lines this year don’t look like they did ahead of the holidays in 2020 yet.

“If you have to wait more than 20 minutes I’ll be shocked,” StarMed CEO Mike Estramonte said.

Estramonte says they have more staff making the experience more efficient, plus more options for protection.

“If you want to come through and see what your antibody levels are, you can get a rough idea,” he said. “Our boosters have been up significantly in the past couple of weeks.”

Now that anyone 18 and up is qualified, people are rolling up their sleeves for that third dose before gathering with loved ones.

“I got my booster,” 22-year-old Kelsie Ruff told WBTV. “I get to see my family and eat some good turkey.”

For people like Nix, who recently battled cancer during the pandemic, it’s all about extra protection before an extra special holiday season.

“It will mean a lot to me just to be with my family, just to hug them, just to be with them,” he said.

Estramonte said StarMed has already seen about a 25 percent increase in demand for tests in the last week, and about a 15 to 20 percent increase in demand for boosters.

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