New COVID-19 booster targets Omicron strains; clinics open in Contra Costa Co.

ByCornell Barnard KGO logo
Sunday, September 11, 2022
New COVID-19 booster target Omicron; clinics open in Contra Costa Co.
The new COVID-19 booster targets hyper-infectious strains of the Omicron variant. Injection clinics opened this weekend in Contra Costa County.

RICHMOND, Calif. (KGO) -- New COVID-19 boosters are rolling out across the Bay Area this weekend. The boosters, recently approved by the FDA and CDC, are targeting hyper-infectious strains of the Omicron variant that caused COVID cases to surge over the summer.

Folks in Richmond were ready to roll up their sleeves Saturday for the newest COVID-19 vaccine booster. Cesar Zepeda was more than ready.

"We want to make sure everyone gets a booster updated. Right now I have four of them, so collect four and you get good health at the end of the day," Zepeda said.

The line was out the door at Memorial Auditorium for this clinic offering boosters targeting the Omicron strain.

The new Pfizer booster is available for anyone over 12 and Moderna's for anyone over 18 and two months out from their last shot.

RELATED: COVID-19 omicron booster shots available in Contra Costa Co., health officials say

"This is a much more focused vaccine, more effective, and if you don't want to get sick, get this vaccine and lower your chances of getting Omicron," said Contra Costa County Supervisor, John Gioia.

The rollout comes as COVID-19 cases are plateauing nationally, following a summer surge across the Bay Area. Bride-to-be Jennifer Tintoc wants to make sure she and her groom are protected at their wedding next week.

"I have lots of family coming into town, and I want to make sure that we can be as safe as possible during this event. It's outdoors. We want to protect ourselves and loved ones," Tintoc said.

"I'm in my 70s. I don't want to get sick if I can do something, like get a little shot," said Beverly Needham from El Cerrito.

RELATED: COVID-19 News: Americans may need yearly shots to protect against coronavirus

Contra Costa County officials say for now, they have enough vaccine to meet demand but the Richmond clinic ran out of the Moderna booster before noon Saturday.

The White House signaled a new reality in the fight against the virus: the likelihood of annual COVID-19 vaccines, just like flu shots.

"For a large majority of Americans, we are moving to a point where a single annual COVID shot should provide a high degree of protection against serious illness all year," said Dr. Asish Jha, White House COVID-19 response coordinator.

The Richmond clinic and others in Contra Costa County are now offering the new boosters Tuesday through Saturday.


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