by Photo Steven Cornfield

California, along with Colorado and New Mexico, issued policies in anticipation for the COVID-19 winter surge. Last week,  California’s Public Health Officer Tomás Aragón sent a letter to local health officials and providers saying they should allow patients to “self-determine their risk of exposure”. Federal health officials recommend limiting booster doses to those "at risk". 

According to the letter, those who are 18 or older and have met the 6-month original vaccination series time period for the Moderna or Pfizer vaccine, or it has been at least 2 months since their Johnson & Johnson vaccine should not be turned down in the event of requesting a booster. 

The letter reads “Providers should not miss any opportunity to vaccinate the unvaccinated or provide boosters by offering vaccines during routine or non- routine visits to medical offices, clinics, pharmacies, and hospitals”. Pharmacies will prioritize Long Term Care facility partnerships to provide COVID-19 vaccine boosters to those in Skilled Nursing Facilities and Assisted Living Facilities. 

Individual assessment of risk exposure may include, but is not limited to, those who work, live or are someone who is involved with the public, those who live or work with someone at high risk of severe impact of COVID-19. Individuals residing in geographic areas heavily impacted by the virus, high transmission areas, live in a congregate setting, experience social inequity, or other risk conditions may receive the booster dose. 

Individuals who received Pfizer and Moderna vaccinations are eligible for a booster vaccination 6 months after their primary series. Those who received Johnson & Johnson may receive a booster dose two months after their primary vaccination and are available for populations 18 or older. 

Individuals may receive a booster dose that differs from the brand they received in their primary series of vaccinations. However, the CDC recommends not to allow for this type of mix and match dosing. 

Several zip codes in Chula Vista are under the high transmission category and one zip code within the substantial transmission. Transmission rates may be viewed per jurisdiction on the county’s case rate location dashboard.

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