Kings County health officials say they are ready for COVID-19 booster shots

By The Leader Staff
Kings County health officials say they are ready for COVID-19 booster shots

The Kings County Department of Public Health (KCDPH) announced on September 24 that it is ready to administer approved booster shots once the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) issues specific guidelines.

On Friday, September 24, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued a statement recommending booster shots of Pfizer-BioNTech’s COVID-19 vaccine in specific populations. The recommendation follows emergency use authorization on September 22, 2021, by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) of the Pfizer-BioNTech booster dose.

According to the CDC, 44.5% of Kings County’s residents have been vaccinated with at least one dose. In comparison, 54,580 have been fully vaccinated (35.7%), and, unlike much of California, Kings County remains a “High” county when it comes to community transmission. The CDC also recommends that Kings County residents adhere to CDC and state guidelines.

There is a wide disparity in counties that have been fully vaccinated. For example, the Bay Area is leading the state in full vaccinations with Marin County, with 76.7% of its eligible residents vaccinated. San Francisco, Santa Clara, San Mateo, and other Bay Area counties are within percentage points of Marin.

Statewide, Californians seem to be doing well with their vaccinations, according to the California Department of Public Health (CDPH). It states that 66.4% of Californians have received at least one dose of the vaccine. As of Monday (September 9), health officials have administered 48,263,586 doses of the vaccine.

The CDC recommends wearing a mask in public, indoor settings.

“We anticipate that the Western States and CDPH guidelines will go into effect early next week for the administration of booster shots,” said Darcy Pickens, Assistant Director of the KCPDH. “The COVID-19 vaccines have shown to be an effective tool to prevent severe cases of COVID-19, and these booster shots will help ensure those most vulnerable remain protected.”

In line with the CDC recommendation, the Western States Scientific Safety Review Workgroup recommended the following groups of people who received the Pfizer vaccine should receive a booster dose of the Pfizer vaccine six months after the second dose in their primary series:

  • People 65 and older,
  • People living in a long-term care facility, and
  • People 50-64 with underlying medical conditions.

In addition, the Workgroup recommended that the following groups of people ages 18-64 who received the Pfizer vaccine may also receive a booster dose of the Pfizer vaccine six months after the second does in their primary series:

  • People with underlying medical conditions, and
  • People who are at higher risk of COVID-19 exposure and transmission due to occupational or institutional settings.
Kings County health officials say they are ready for COVID-19 booster shots

Booster doses are not yet available for individuals who received the Moderna or Janssen (Johnson & Johnson) vaccine. The FDA and CDC will continue to review booster dose data for these vaccine products as it becomes available.

If you have an underlying medical condition, please talk to your medical provider about whether a booster is recommended based on your personal health history. Underlying medical conditions include but are not limited to:

  • Cancer
  • Chronic Kidney Disease
  • Chronic Lung Disease, including COPD, moderate-to-severe asthma, interstitial lung disease, cystic fibrosis, and pulmonary hypertension
  • Dementia
  • Diabetes
  • Down Syndrome
  • Heart Conditions
  • HIV infection
  • Liver Disease
  • Overweight and Obesity
  • Stroke or cerebrovascular disease
  • Sickle cell disease or thalassemia
  • Solid-organ or blood stem cell transplant

KCDPH officials will make booster shots available as soon as possible once CDPH issues its guidance and will give an updated statement at that time. The Department continues to urge the public to take all COVID-19 prevention measures appropriate for them:

  • Get vaccinated; to schedule an appointment, visit:
  • Wear a face covering, regardless of your vaccine status, to protect yourself and those who cannot get vaccinated at this time
  • Get tested if you have COVID-19 symptoms
  • Stay home if you are sick
  • Visit for current information and guidance.
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