Breanna Reeves |
Following the Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) recommendation for an additional COVID-19 vaccine booster shot for certain individuals, California updated their eligibility requirements for a second booster dose as well as an initial Pfizer booster shot for those 12 years of age and older.
As the dominant Omicron variant, BA.2, has proven to be more transmissible, health officials continue to emphasize the durability of COVID-19 vaccines against infection and death. The CDC noted that those who received booster shots were 21-times less likely to die from COVID-19 compared to those who were unvaccinated.
“Boosters are safe, and people over the age of 50 can now get an additional booster 4 months after their prior dose to increase their protection further. This is especially important for those 65 and older and those 50 and older with underlying medical conditions that increase their risk for severe disease from COVID-19 as they are the most likely to benefit from receiving an additional booster dose at this time,” CDC Director Dr. Rochelle P. Walensky said in a statement.
A recently published CDC report found receiving three doses of an mRNA vaccine is highly effective in preventing severe illness from COVID-19. According to the report, receiving two or three doses of a COVID-19 vaccine was associated with a 90% reduction for COVID-19-related death.
Under the new California guidance, a second booster dose of the Moderna or Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine is recommended for individuals who are 50 years of age and older, certain immunocompromised individuals and anyone who received a Johnson & Johnson booster.
“Getting this additional booster is the best way to strengthen your protection against COVID-19. The additional Pfizer or Moderna booster dose for anyone who received a Johnson & Johnson booster, certain immunocompromised individuals, and people aged 50 and up will help protect our communities and continue to move the state forward,” California Health and Human Services Agency Secretary Dr. Mark Ghaly, and Director of the California Department of Public Health and State Public Health Officer Dr. Tomás J. Aragón said in a joint statement.
In Riverside County, data regarding who has received booster shots is not categorized by age groups, but the county reported that among individuals 12 years of age and older, 31.4% have received an additional dose. With no standard guidance for measuring additional booster shots, San Bernardino County’s COVID-19 dashboard only provides a count of those who have received an additional shot. The county reports that 522,713 residents have received at least one booster or additional dose.