On November 19, 2021, the FDA expanded its emergency use authorization of the Comirnaty (Pfizer) and Moderna COVID-19 vaccine boosters to all adults ages 18 and over, paving the way for people to receive a booster shot at least six months after completing their primary series.
Anyone who is eligible for a COVID-19 vaccine or booster dose is encouraged to access the most convenient option available to them to get their shot. For more information on where to go for a vaccine, visit COVIDVaccineFacts.com and click on “Find a COVID-19 Vaccine”.
The California Department of Public Health (CDPH) offers the following tips to keep everyone safe from COVID-19 during the upcoming holiday season:
- Get vaccinated (against COVID-19 and flue), including a COVID-19 booster shot if eligible
- Stay home if you are sick
- Get tested 1-3 days before a family gathering, or prior to any travel, even if you have no symptoms, and test again 3-5 days later upon returning home
- If your gathering includes individuals who are unvaccinated, keep your gathering small, short, and outdoors and wear a mask over both your nose and mouth
- Gather outside or increase airflow in indoor spaces by opening doors and windows
Orange County’s Progress Toward Getting Youth Vaccinated
Since the Comirnaty (Pfizer) pediatric dose was first authorized for emergency use (EUA) by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in children aged 5 through 11, 8.4% of this population and 69.6% of children aged 12 - 17 have received at least one dose. Between November and November 15, a total of 23,792 children and youth ages 5 - 17 received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, representing over two-thirds of total vaccine doses administered in Orange County.
As indicated by California Governor Gavin Newsom, students attending California schools will be required to be vaccinated beginning the term after the FDA lifts its EUA and grants full approval of a COVID-19 vaccine for children ages 5-11 and youth ages 12-15. (The Pfizer vaccine is already fully approved for individuals aged 16 and over).
The earliest date that students may be impacted by this requirement is either summer 2022 or the start of the 2022-23 school year.
The CDPH is working directly with school districts throughout the state to build resources to support COVID testing and school-located vaccine events for the COVID-19 vaccine and other routine immunizations. Schools interested in learning more can visit shotsforschool.org and those seeking testing resources can visit testing.covid19.ca.gov for more information.