MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WHNT) — Get your COVID-19 vaccine or updated booster to protect your vulnerable relatives at holiday gatherings — that’s the message from Alabama health officials as we turn the corner into December.

In his monthly message, State Health Officer Dr. Scott Harris urged Alabamians to get vaccinated or boosted.

“While the holiday season is well underway, I hope you will make time in your busy schedule to get up to date with your COVID-19 vaccinations if you haven’t already,” Harris stated.

“Family, friends, and others you encounter in the days to come are vulnerable to infection and may not be able to protect themselves from the virus,” he continued. “Anyone infected with COVID-19 can spread it, even without symptoms.”

Harris says everyone over six months old should at least receive a primary vaccine series; however, the new boosters aren’t approved for children under five.

The boosters do protect against the virus, as well as the newer Omicron variants, according to the Alabama Department of Public Health (ADPH).

“While it is not clear that the booster vaccine fully protects against these variants, getting a booster has higher neutralizing antibodies against the omicron variants and can reduce the risk of spreading COVID-19 to others in our communities in the coming months,” Harris said.

“The sooner you are vaccinated, the sooner you have protection,” he concluded.

To learn more about COVID-19 vaccines, boosters, and treatments in Alabama, visit