By CBSLA Staff

SHERMAN OAKS (CBSLA) – With the holidays approaching and colder weather around the corner, there are concerns that California could again have a winter COVID-19 surge, which is one reason Governor Gavin Newsom was in the southland today encouraging people to get vaccinated.

Nov. 10, 2021 (credit: CBS)

READ MORE: Firefighters Rescue Infant, Two Adults From Fire At Two-Story Home

“Life saving vaccines are in abundance for anyone that hasn’t gotten that first dose,” the governor said Wednesday.

Newsom added that it was around this time last year when case rates, positivity rates, hospitalizations and ICU rates increase.

Dr. Alpesh Amin, chairman of the University of California, Irvine, Medical Center’s Department of Medicine echoed the governor’s statements.

“Those that qualify for vaccinations should get vaccinated as soon as possible,” Dr. Amin said.

He believes that getting vaccinated is now crucial and said there’s been a 30% increase in the number of hospitalizations in Orange, Riverside and San Bernardino Counties.

READ MORE: Three Shot, Two Killed In Unincorporated Area Near South Los Angeles

“The number of new cases right now in California are on the same order of magnitude as it was last year. That worries me,” Amin said.

Though Dr. Amin doesn’t believe we’ll get to the same level of surge as last year, he said with just two-thirds of Californians vaccinated it’s not time to get complacent.

“When you see patients in the hospital, the ones that get really sick, 80-90% of the ones who are really sick are the ones that are not vaccinated,” Alpesh said.

For those who have been vaccinated, the doctor said getting a booster is important, especially for those who are immunocompromised, such as the elderly and health care workers.

“We do know after vaccination, the immunity wanes over the proceeding months. So, the booster helps get the immunity back up,” he said.

MORE NEWS: Person Fatally Injured In Single-Vehicle Crash On Big Tujunga Canyon Road