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SACRAMENTO – Today, 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, issued a joint statement on the Western States Scientific Safety Review Workgroup’s recommendation to expand eligibility for Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 booster dose to 16- and 17-year-olds at least six months after completing their primary vaccination series.

“Vaccines are how we get through this pandemic, and that includes boosters. With thousands of Californians getting boosted each day, this eligibility expansion will ensure even more of our loved ones can get protected against COVID-19 and avoid serious illness, hospitalization, and death. The state has ample vaccine supply – don’t wait, schedule your booster appointment today.”

While Californians are encouraged to enjoy some sense of normalcy this holiday season, now is not the time to let our guard down. Californians should continue to practice the safety basics – wear a mask with good fit and filtration<https://www.cdph.ca.gov/Programs/CID/DCDC/CDPH%20Document%20Library/COVID-19/Translations/Use-of-Face-Coverings-Fact-Sheets–en.pdf> indoors, get tested if you’re exposed to the virus or have symptoms, and stay home when sick.

MyTurn.ca.gov is currently being updated to reflect the expanded eligibility. Parents and guardians are encouraged to check with their teen’s health care provider to schedule their booster appointment.

For the latest information on the Omicron variant go to CDPH.ca.gov and to find a COVID-19 testing site, call (833) 422-4255 or visit your local county public health website. www.cdph.ca.gov<http://www.cdph.ca.gov>