COVID-19 Advisory & Response Press Release - CDC expands booster eligibility

The CDC has expanded its recommendations for the COVID booster, just days after receiving FDA authorization for use in senior citizens and certain high-risk groups.

The original approval to those 65 and older, residents in long-term care settings, and people over 50 with underlying conditions still applies. People aged 18-49 with underlying medical conditions and those aged 18-64 who are at increased risk for COVID exposure and transmission because of an occupational or institutional setting may now also receive the booster shot. The recommendation for Pfizer-BioNTech boosters for these select populations applies 6 months after completion of their primary series.

Ridgecrest Regional Hospital has responded by scheduling eligible patients for a drive-through clinic in early October and offering Pfizer booster vaccine clinics to front line workers. 

For those who received Moderna or J&J, no booster is authorized at this time. 

CDC continues to recommend third doses of mRNA vaccine for severely immunocompromised persons at least 28 days after the second dose (12+ years for Pfizer; 18+ years for Moderna) 

“We are excited to get the green light on Pfizer boosters. This is another important milestone in combatting the virus and getting our community protected,” said RRH administrator and Vaccine Task Force Leader Michelle Whalley. “As with our initial efforts last December and early into 2021, when vaccines were first released, our vaccine team is prepared to provide Pfizer boosters to our elderly population, skilled-nursing residents and those age 50 and older who are high risk medically, as well as continuing to prioritize getting first doses to those not yet vaccinated.”

For a comprehensive list of eligible medical conditions see https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/vaccines/booster-shot.html

Patients who wish to obtain a first dose can ask their provider at any RRH clinic and walk-in vaccination appointments are also available at the RRH Urgent Care. For other local vaccination locations and availability visit myturn.ca.gov