With federal approval of COVID-19 booster shots of the Moderna and Johnson & Johnson formulations expected any day, joining already-approved Pfizer booster shots, public health officials in both L.A. County and Pasadena stood ready to begin administering the doses as soon as the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issues the go-ahead, authorities said Thursday.
The CDC’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices recommended the approval of both formulations on Thursday, following a similar recommendation by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration earlier in the week.
Local health officials said they already had plans in place to make boosters widely available.
“Once the CDC director provides their final approval, providers across the county will be able to administer additional doses,” according to a Los Angeles County Department of Public Health statement.
The Pasadena Public Health Department, too, stood posed to begin, city spokeswoman Lisa Derderian said.
“We have the infrastructure in place to start right away,” she said.
County officials said that providing unvaccinated residents with first doses remained the top priority in combating the spread of the virus.
Under the guidelines proposed by the CDC and FDA, people may choose a different vaccine formulation for boosters than those they were initially inoculated with.
Eligibility varies, however, depending on which vaccine was initially received.
Anyone who received the Johnson & Johnson shot would be eligible for a booster two months after their initial vaccination, according the L.A. County Department of Public Health.
“Meanwhile, booster eligibility for those who received Pfizer or Moderna is currently limited to people who received their primary series at least six months ago and who are either 65 and older or are over 18 and live in long-term care settings, have underlying medical conditions, or work or live in high-risk settings,” according to the county statement.
Additionally, Southland health officials were also preparing for a federal determination on potential vaccines for children ages 5 to 11, which was expected in early-November.
“An enormous network of providers countywide, is scaling up to provide vaccines to children between the ages of 5 and 11,” the statement said.
Pasadena health officials reported nine new COVID-19 infections and no deaths on Thursday. The city’s pandemic totals stood at 13,422 confirmed cases of the virus and 363 deaths.
An average of 7.6 daily infections were detected in Pasadena over the prior week, according to PPDH data.
The Pasadena Unified School District documented 10 student infections over the prior week and four among staff members.
L.A. County saw another 1,167 COVID-19 cases and 27 deaths, bringing the totals to 1,481,814 infections and 26,499 fatalities, officials said.
The number of hospitalized COVID-19 patients stood at 613, with 29% of them being treated in intensive care units.
Thursday’s county-wide daily test positivity rate held stable at 0.9%, according to LACDPH records.
“Overall, the County continues to see a small decrease across all metrics,” the statement said. “Daily average case numbers are 828 as of October 13, down 18% from the prior week, while daily average hospitalizations decreased 14% to reach 676, and daily average deaths are below 10, now at eight per day.”
The vast majority of infections and hospitalization continued to affect unvaccinated people, who county officials said were six times more likely to be infected than those who are vaccinated, as well as 23 times more likely to be hospitalized and 43 times more likely to die from the virus.
The California Department of Public Health reported 5,124 new COVID-19 cases and 148 deaths on Thursday, raising the state’s totals to 4,600,506 infections and 70,741 fatalities.
The statewide weekly positivity rate was measured at 2.1%, according to CDPH data.
As of Thursday, L.A. County accounted for 32% of California’s COVID-19 infections and 37% of the state’s deaths.