Booster Shots Targeting Omicron to be Available in LA County Next Week
170,000 doses have been ordered of the Emergency-Use-Authorized new vaccine
September 7, 2022
September 1, 2022 - Today, Barbara Ferrer, Director of Public Health, announced that doses of the new booster shot targeting Omicron will be arriving in the county between September 6 and 9. The Federal Drug Agency has given Emergency Use Authorization of the new vaccine that can be given to anyone over age 12 who has not had a Covid vaccine within the past two months.
The bivalent boosters are not to be used as a primary series, but only as a booster following at least one full series of Covid-19 vaccination. Children over 12 years of age and adults can receive the Pfizer version. Only adults over 18 can receive the Moderna version.
The new booster shots are alleged to provide targeted protection against the BA.4 and BA.5 subvariants of the Omicron lineage of SARS-CoV-2 virus. Currently, Omicron BA.5 dominates the percent of specimens sequenced in the county at 92.1%. Various Omicron BA.4 subvariants make up most of the rest of the specimens tested.
County officials ordered 170,000 doses, the most that were available to them. Ferrer estimates 7 million people in the county are eligible for the boosters and anticipates half of those eligible will be "very interested" in getting the new shot. She is awaiting guidance from the Centers for Disease Control on how to prioritize who may receive the new booster shots first. Ferrer noted during the media briefing today that older people remain at high risk of serious disease and death from Covid-19 although for other people the risk has been reduced.
Some 300 providers in Los Angeles County will be administering the bivalent boosters along with several public health sites provided by the county for over 900 sites where residents can receive the shot.
Previous booster shots have not proven to be successful at preventing Covid transmission, with some age groups exhibiting nearly twice as much transmission in the fully boosted group as in the group that only received a single series of the original Covid-19 vaccine.