Seniors, people with underlying medical conditions and employees with high risk of exposure became eligible to receive third doses, or booster shots, of the Pfizer vaccine formulation in Los Angeles County on Friday, authorities announced.
The change followed a recommendation to do so by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Late Friday night, Pasadena city officials updated Pasadena’s website to match the CDC recommendation.
The city said it plans to open appointments for boosters next week, at Medical Point of Dispensing drive-thrus called “Pfizer Booster” clinics.
The Pasadena Public Health Dept. is not currently accepting on-site registration for booster doses. All individuals seeking a booster dose must make an appointment in MyTurn.CA.gov, according to city sources.
Meanwhile, CVS Health announced its pharmacies have already begun to administer booster shots in the Pasadena area.
“Boosters are currently only available to residents who received Pfizer,” according to a Los Angeles County Department of Public Health statement. “Residents who received Moderna and Johnson & Johnson will need to wait until the FDA reviews the data about boosters and determines the need for and safety of boosters for these vaccines.”
Newly eligible groups include seniors age 65 and up, residents of long-term care facilities, people between 18 and 64 years old who have underlying medical conditions and people between 18 and 64 “with high institutional or occupational risk, including healthcare workers, first responders, teachers and daycare staff, grocery workers and workers in homeless shelters or prisons,” according to the statement.
The boosters should be given six months after initial vaccination, officials said.
The new policy took effect immediately, L.A. County Director of Public Health Barbara Ferrer said.
“We thank the FDA and the CDC for their thorough and thoughtful review of the data surrounding boosters,” she said.
“The booster dose offers enhanced protection for those fully vaccinated with the Pfizer vaccine 6 months ago who are at increased risk of getting COVID-19 and/or experiencing severe illness from COVID,” Ferrer said. “The L.A. County vaccination network is prepared to offer boosters today while continuing to prioritize getting first doses to those eligible and not yet vaccinated.”
Those getting boosters will need to bring their proof of prior vaccination, either physical or digital, according to the county statement. “At many sites, residents may be asked to sign an attestation form indicating they meet the criteria to receive the booster.”
Appointments can be made through the state website at https://myturn.ca.gov/, or at any pharmacy or clinic offering the Pfizer vaccine, officials said.
Meanwhile, public health officials in Pasadena reported 15 new COVID-19 infections and no deaths on Friday. The city’s pandemic totals stood at 13,146 infections and 359 fatalities.
The average number of infections detected daily over the prior week increased slightly to 16.6, according to Pasadena Public Health Department data.
Officials at Huntington Hospital reported treating 22 COVID-19 patients as of Friday, with seven of them housed in intensive care units.
Within the Pasadena Unified School District, officials documented four new infections among students and three among staff members over the prior week.
Public health officials at the county level reported 1,571 new infections and 32 deaths on Friday, bringing the pandemic totals to 1,451,438 cases of the virus and 25,972 fatalities.
The number of patients hospitalized throughout Los Angeles County stood at 956 after dropping below 1,000 on Thursday for the first time since July, according to the L.A. County Department of Public Health.
Friday’s county-wide daily test positivity rate was measured at 1.5%.
The California Department of Public Health announced 1,276 new cases of COVID-19 and 149 deaths on Friday, raising the totals to 4,448,666 infections and 68,087 fatalities.
The state’s weekly positivity rate was measured at 3.2%, CDPH data show.
As of Friday, L.A. County represented 33% of California’s COVID-19 infections and 38% of the state’s deaths.