Residents who are 50 years or older can receive an additional Pfizer or Moderna booster against COVID-19.

The U.S Food and Drug Administration, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the Western States workgroup approved an additional COVID-19 for those aged 50 and older. The San Diego Health and Human Services Agency reported Thursday 162 new COVID-19 infections and nine additional virus-related deaths in its latest data.

Dr. Wilma Wooten, county public health officer, said older adults “are more likely to have complications from COVID-19 and be hospitalized, especially if they have underlying health conditions. San Diegans should definitely consider getting a fourth dose if they qualify.''

According to the director of the Scrips Research Transitional Institute in La Jolla, Dr. Eric Topol, hospitalizations relating to COVID-19 have declined nationwide to their lowest point since late March 2020.

“A reason to celebrate, even if it's brief,'' he wrote. Locally, the number of COVID-positive patients in San Diego County hospitals decreased by 10 to 140, according to the latest state data. The number of those patients in intensive care declined by two to 26. Available ICU beds increased by 12 to 281.

Nearly one million booster county residents qualify for the COVID-19 vaccine booster but have yet to receive their dose. Out of 2,182,257 San Diegans who are eligible, 969,219 remain unboosted. 

County health officials remind residents “that having all the recommended vaccines can prevent getting the spread of COVID-19.”

According to the Director of the CDC, Dr. Rochelle P. Walensky, boosters are safe, and people over the age of 50 can now get an additional booster 4 months after their prior dose to increase their protection further.

“This is especially important for those 65 and older and those 50 and older with underlying medical conditions that increase their risk for severe disease from COVID-19 as they are the most likely to benefit from receiving an additional booster dose at this time,” Walensky said.

Since the beginning of the pandemic, the county has seen a total of 750,454 cases and 5,178 deaths. The region reported a decrease in positive test results by 2.8 percent.

Vaccinations are available at clinics, county locations, medical providers, and pharmacies. Information on appointments or site locations is available by calling 833-422-4255, visiting MyTurn, or San Diego County's webpage.

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