SAN JOSE (CBS SF) – Health officials in Santa Clara County announced Friday that booster shots for all three COVID-19 vaccines are now available.
The announcement comes after the Food and Drug Administration authorized boosters for the Moderna and Johnson & Johnson vaccines, along with the Pfizer vaccine. FDA officials also allowed patients to "mix and match" boosters from a different manufacturer than what they initially received.
"We now understand that the protection from the initial vaccine series may decrease over time, and a booster shot is highly effective in preventing serious hospitalization and death," Santa Clara County health officer Dr. Sara Cody said in a statement.
According to health officials, boosters are recommended for all Johnson & Johnson recipients 18 and older who received their shot more than two months ago.
As for Pfizer and Moderna recipients, all who are 65 and older are urged to receive booster shots. Boosters are also recommended for people 18 and older who live in long-term care settings, underlying medical conditions or those who live and work in "high-risk" settings.
Earlier this week, health officials in the South Bay lamented the low turnout for booster shots. As of Thursday, 74,290 Santa Clara County residents out of 1.5 million fully vaccinated had received a booster shot. Among seniors, only 39% had received one.
"The messaging has been quite confusing to people about who is eligible for a booster shot," Dr. Jennifer Tong, who oversees the county's mass vaccination program, told KPIX 5.
Eligible individuals who live, work or go to school in Santa Clara County can receive their booster shot at five large-scale vaccination sites and smaller clinics. Information about county-run sites can be found by visiting sccfreevax.org. Boosters are also available through many doctors' offices and pharmacies.
COVID-19 vaccinations through the county are free, insurance is not required and there are no immigration requirements, officials said.
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