Gov. Gavin Newsom visited West Los Angeles VA Medical Center Wednesday to again encourage people get vaccinated against COVID-19 — with first, second or booster doses — while warning that “winter is coming” and raising fears of another surge in infections.

The governor, who has faced questions about his disappearance from the public eye for about two weeks after receiving his COVID booster shot, also flatly rejected reports that he suffered an adverse reaction to the inoculation.

“That’s made up,” Newsom said. “I had absolutely no impact whatsoever from the COVID shot — the original or the booster. Absolutely none. No fatigue.”

Newsom said he experienced more soreness in his arm after getting a flu shot than he did from the COVID shot. He urged people to “pause and reflect” on “intentional misrepresentation and misinformation around the efficacy and safety of these vaccines.”

“These vaccines are life-saving,” he said. “These vaccines helped us put a lid on COVID this summer. I’m encouraging people to get their booster shots, and those that have not gotten immunity through a vaccine, we encourage you to consider that as we move through the winter.”

Newsom noted that COVID infection rates have proven to be seasonal, and he issued a reminder that last winter saw sharp increases in cases in California and beyond as more people took part in holiday gatherings.

“Winter is coming. Winter is here,” Newsom said. “And as we are want to be reminded and should be reminded, last year we had a challenging winter, particularly down here in Southern California. We started to see around this time last year case rates, positivity rates, hospitalization rates, ICU numbers, start to increase. We’re starting to see that now all across the globe. We’ve seen those trends, not dissimilar to last year.

“… This in so many ways is part of a pattern that is familiar, and the one thing that can interrupt that pattern is the one thing we’re here to promote, and that’s increasing your immunity that does wane after a number of months, six or so months, by getting a booster shot and reminding everybody of the opportunity to get their first shot if they haven’t.”

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