Hours after the CDC endorsed Pfizer's booster shots, California's Department of Public Health gathered all the county's public health officers to explain what the guidelines will be moving forward.
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Marin County's Public Health Officer Dr. Matt Willis was in the meeting.
"Basically, our approach in California is going to mirror the approach the CDC recommended," said Dr. Willis.
But counties will have the flexibility to modify this criteria. For example, Marin County will open a vaccination site at the Northgate mall on Wednesday to give boosters to those 75 and older instead of starting with the 65 year old group.
"That is the subset that is even at higher risk to more severe outcomes if they become infected. As soon as we work through the demand in that group in maybe just a few days we will be opening it up to 65 plus," said Dr. Willis.
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Corporate pharmacies like CVS and Walgreens will become some of the state's main distributors of the vaccine and will follow the CDC's guidelines giving priority to those 65 and older or those with underlying health conditions. Marin County resident, Gary Stabile made sure he was among the first to get a booster today.
"I should go bet on the lottery or something," said Stabile and added, "Well there really wasn't much luck about it. You just go online, make an appointment, sign up and they do it."
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Outside of the same CVS where Gary got his booster, we met Bill Kreisler. He's been trying for hours to book an appointment. This effort is giving him a flashback of when he and his wife traveled out of county to get their shots.
"We went to Sacramento. Yes, for the first two."
Luz Pena: "You are hoping you won't have to do that again for a booster?"
Bill Kreisler: "Well. If that is what it takes, that is what it takes"
Marin County projects there are over 70,000 people who qualify to get a booster shot under the CDC's guidelines.
- people 65 years and older and residents in long-term care settings should receive a booster shot of Pfizer-BioNTech's COVID-19 vaccine at least 6 months after their Pfizer-BioNTech primary series,
- people aged 50-64 years with underlying medical conditions should receive a booster shot of Pfizer-BioNTech's COVID-19 vaccine at least 6 months after their Pfizer-BioNTech primary series,
- people aged 18-49 years with underlying medical conditions may receive a booster shot of Pfizer-BioNTech's COVID-19 vaccine at least 6 months after their Pfizer-BioNTech primary series, based on their individual benefits and risks, and
- people aged 18-64 years who are at increased risk for COVID-19 exposure and transmission because of occupational or institutional setting may receive a booster shot of Pfizer-BioNTech's COVID-19 vaccine at least 6 months after their Pfizer-BioNTech primary series, based on their individual benefits and risks.