With federal approval in hand, Los Angeles County providers began offering COVID-19 vaccine booster shots Friday to people who previously received any of the three vaccinations in circulation.
Dr. Rochelle P. Walensky, director of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, approved the wider distribution of booster shots Friday, following a recommendation Thursday from a CDC advisory panel.
Booster doses had previously been available only for people who received the Pfizer vaccine during their initial doses. The new CDC approval now offers booster shots to people who received the Moderna or Johnson & Johnson vaccines.
Under the federal guidance, people can receive a different brand of booster shot than their original doses.
Booster shots are available for people who are:
— 65 years of age or older;
— aged 18 and older and living in long-term care settings;
— aged 18 and older with underlying medical conditions; and
— aged 18 and older and living or working in high-risk settings.
People who received the two-dose Pfizer or Moderna shots should not receive a booster until at least six months after their last dose. For the single-shot Johnson & Johnson vaccine, people must wait at least two months after their shot.
“While we continue prioritizing getting unvaccinated people vaccinated against COVID-19, we encourage everyone who is eligible to enhance their immunity by getting a booster dose,” county Public Health Director Barbara Ferrer said. “It is important that those at high risk because of their age, underlying health conditions or occupational setting get their booster dose, and we’re encouraging people that fall into these higher-risk categories, to please make sure you are getting your boosters well before the holidays.”
Most vaccination sites do not require appointments, and shots are usually available on a walk-in basis. However, appointments can be made at www.VaccinateLACounty.com, or in Spanish, www.VacunateLosAngeles.com.
The county reported another 15 COVID-19 deaths on Friday, raising the overall death toll from the pandemic to 26,513.
Another 1,227 new cases were also confirmed, giving the county a cumulative pandemic total of 1,483,031. The rolling daily average rate of people testing positive for the virus was 0.9% as of Friday.
After dropping below the 600 mark on Thursday, the number of COVID-positive people hospitalized in Los Angeles County jumped up to 621 on Friday, with 173 people in intensive care, down from 184 the previous day.
According to numbers released Thursday, 79% of eligible county residents aged 12 and older have received at least one dose of vaccine, and 71% are fully vaccinated.