With the Western States Scientific Safety Review Workgroup review and approval of the CDC’s recommendations regarding COVID-19 vaccine boosters, California is now cleared to follow the federal recommendations that certain individuals can receive a booster dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine. The booster dose is intended to provide enhanced protection to people who may be at greater risk of serious illness due to COVID- 19.
At this time, booster doses are only available to those who have been fully vaccinated with the Pfizer vaccine. Boosters should be administered at least six months after an individual has received their last dose of the Pfizer vaccine.
According to the CDPH, the following individuals SHOULD receive a booster dose:
• People age 65 years and older
• Long-term care residents
• People age 50 through 64 years with underlying medical conditions or at increased risk of social inequities (including communities of color and others at risk of inequities).
People who MAY CONSIDER receiving a booster dose based on their individual benefits and risks include:
• People age 18 through 49 years with underlying medical conditions; and
• People age 18 through 64 who are at increased risk of exposure to COVID-19 due to their occupation or institutional setting.
The Pfizer booster cannot be administered to those who have been vaccinated with the Moderna or Johnson & Johnson vaccines. Officials are still awaiting information on boosters for these vaccines.
Pfizer booster shots are currently available at local and regional pharmacies and through health care providers. Some primary care physicians and health clinics may contact their eligible patients to schedule booster doses. There are currently no plans for a large-scale booster vaccination clinic locally.
For more information on how to schedule a Pfizer booster, go to MyNevadaCounty.com/GetVaccinated or MyTurn.ca.gov. Those who have questions about eligibility or would like assistance scheduling an appointment can call 211 Connecting Point at 1-833-DIAL211.
As pharmacies and health care providers administer Pfizer booster doses, the Nevada County Public Health department will continue to focus its effort on outreach to unvaccinated individuals who encounter barriers to vaccine access. “Our primary responsibility is reaching residents who haven’t had their first dose yet. As we saw in this recent surge, unvaccinated individuals are far more likely to be hospitalized or die of COVID-19,” said Nevada County Public Health Director Jill Blake. “Our REACH Team is working closely with local organizations and businesses to ensure that everyone who wants to be vaccinated can get their shot.”
While over 114,000 COVID-19 vaccine doses have been administered to Nevada County residents, 35% of eligible residents remain unvaccinated. “The solution to ending this pandemic is through immunizations,” said Public Health Officer Dr. Scott Kellermann. “If you haven’t had your first dose yet, it’s not too late. We’re ready when you are.” All California residents age 12 and over are eligible for free COVID-19 vaccine.