By Elizabeth Sanchez, South Kern Sol
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has recommended a booster shot of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine in certain populations and for those in high risk occupational and institutional settings. This follows the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) authorization earlier this week.
Effective immediately, those that meet the new CDC guidelines are able to access this booster dose in Kern County, Kern Public Health said in a news release. This updated interim guidance from CDC allows for people who are at highest risk for COVID-19 to receive a Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 booster shot to help increase their protection.
CDC recommends the following populations should receive a booster shot 6 months following their second dose of their Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine:
▪ People 65 years and older;
▪ Residents in long-term care settings; and
▪ People aged 50–64 years with underlying medical conditions.
CDC recommends the following populations may receive a booster shot 6 months following their second dose of their Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine:
▪ People aged 18-49 years with underlying medical conditions; and
▪ People aged 18-64 years who are at increased risk for COVID-19 exposure and transmission because of occupational or institutional setting.
On Friday, the Kern County Public Health Department confirmed 438 more cases of COVID-19 in Kern, bringing the total to 136,192 cases. Of these cases, almost 12,000 come from people who are 65 and older; however, nearly 66 percent of Kern’s COVID-19 deaths are those 65 and older.
According to health officials, 971 COVID-19 deaths are those 65 and older. There has been a total of 1,515 deaths in Kern since the pandemic hit Kern County in Spring of 2020.
The most common underlying conditions in Kern’s COVID-19 deaths include hypertension, diabetes, and cardiovascular disease, according to Public Health’s dashboard.
The Western States Scientific Safety Review Workgroup also announced Friday that is recommends a booster dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine at least six months after their primary vaccination series for the same populations. The Workgroup provided its confirmation to the governors of California, Nevada, Oregon and Washington today.
“Vaccines are how we end this pandemic,” Governor Newsom said Friday. “With today’s Western States Scientific Safety Review Workgroup recommendation, California is ready to go on day one to begin administering Pfizer-BioNTech boosters to eligible Californians, in addition to our continued work in reaching those who remain unvaccinated to protect communities. Vaccines save lives, and boosters are a critical next step towards better protecting Californians from COVID-19.”
Since January 21, 2021, only .2 percent of Kern residents who have been vaccinated have contracted COVID-19, compared to the 98.32 percent of unvaccinated residents who have contracted COVID-19 during the same period of time.
”COVID-19 vaccines are safe and effective, and vaccination continues to be our path out of this pandemic,” said Oregon Governor Kate Brown. “Seniors who have received the Pfizer vaccine, as well as Oregonians who have underlying health conditions, live in long-term care facilities, or who are at higher risk due to occupational or institutional setting will now be able to receive the additional layer of protection provided by a booster shot.”
To find a vaccination site near you or to make an appointment at vaccination sites, visit www.kernpublichealth.com or www.MyTurn.ca.gov. Kern County Public Health continues to partner with Kern Medical to provide COVID-19 vaccinations at their location on 1700 Mount Vernon Ave in Bakersfield and at the Kern County Fair.