Sonoma County Rolls Out COVID-19 Booster Shots

COVID-19 booster shots are available in Sonoma County for eligible seniors, health care workers, public safety personnel and others who are at increased risk for COVID-19 exposure and transmission because of occupational or institutional setting, and who received the second dose of the two-shot Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine at least six months ago.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), which endorsed an earlier Food and Drug Administration authorization, said those eligible for booster shots include people 65 and older, essential workers at high risk of exposure to COVID, and those at risk of severe illness.

The CDC specifically said that people 65 years and older and people aged 50 to 64 with certain underlying medical conditions should receive a booster shot. People 18 to 49 who are at high risk for severe COVID-19 due to certain underlying medical conditions, and people aged 18 to 64 years who are at increased risk for COVID-19 exposure and transmission because of occupational or institutional setting may receive a booster shot based on their individual benefits and risks.

People who qualify under the federal guidelines should contact their primary care doctor, local pharmacy or visit MyTurn.ca.gov to schedule a booster shot.

The Sonoma County Department of Health Services will continue to focus on administering first and second doses of the vaccine to the roughly 23 percent of county residents over the age of 12 who are not fully immunized. People who are immunocompromised, the elderly and residents of long-term care facilities, and those who do not have access to medical care will also remain a priority.
The Department of Health Services is targeting its supply of the vaccine for the most vulnerable in the community and people who are not yet immunized, said Dr. Sundari Mase, Sonoma County’s health officer.

“Getting shots into the arms of the unvaccinated will save lives, avert serious illness, keep schools open and protect both our families and our fellow Sonoma County residents by slowing the spread of COVID-19,” Dr. Mase said. “We must continue to focus on vaccinating people who are unprotected, as they put themselves and the rest of our community at risk. Booster shots for those who are eligible are important, but fully vaccinated people already have immunity against COVID-19. If eligible, please schedule your booster shot, but understand that there is no rush to get it.”

As of Friday, 331,957 county residents aged 12 and older are fully vaccinated against COVID-19, equivalent to 77 percent of the county’s eligible population. Another 30,854 residents have been partially vaccinated.

Booster shots are not available for people who received the two-dose Moderna or the one-dose J&J/Janssen vaccine. The FDA and CDC do not yet have enough data to make a decision about Moderna or J&J/Janssen booster shots.

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