Second booster doses of COVID-19 vaccine available

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Wave Wire Services

LOS ANGELES — County health officials and other providers began offering second booster doses of COVID-19 vaccine to eligible residents March 30.

The additional boosters were approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. The second boosters of the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines were authorized for people who are aged 50 and over, and who received their last booster shot at least four months ago.

Boosters are also available for younger people who are considered immunocompromised and at higher risk of severe illness from the virus.

Ted Watkins Park in South Los Angeles, Obregon Park in East Los Angeles, the Commerce Senior Citizens Center and the Norwalk Arts and Sports Complex are among eight county sites offering the second doses. Information about the sites is available online at VaccinateLACounty.com.

Health officials said other non-county-operated sites may also have the secondary booster doses available.

Many pharmacies also are making the secondary boosters available. Rite Aid announced that all of its locations in California are offering the shots.

The county announced seven more COVID-19 deaths March 29, giving the county an overall total of 31,626. Another 541 cases have also been reported, lifting the countywide pandemic total to 2,831,655.

The number of COVID-positive patients in county hospitals was 325. The number of those patients being treated in intensive care was 51.

The rolling average daily rate of people testing positive for the virus was 0.7%, roughly the same as it has been for the past two weeks.

Last week, the county reported an uptick in COVID infections attributed to the BA.2, an offshoot of the Omicron variant that spurred a winter surge in cases and hospitalizations.

According to the county, the BA.2 sub-variant accounted for 14.7% of all specially sequenced cases from the week ending March 5 — more than double the 6.4% rate from the previous week. Experts have suggested that BA.2 is at least 30% more contagious than the Omicron variant, which was already substantially more easily spread than the original COVID-19 virus.

According to the county, as of March 27, 83% of eligible county residents aged 5 and older had received at least one dose of COVID vaccine, and 75% were fully vaccinated. However, only 30% of children aged 5-11 have been fully vaccinated, the lowest rate of any age group.

Among Black residents, only 55.4% are fully vaccinated, along with 58.9% of Latina/o residents, compared to 73% of white residents and 82% of Asians.

 

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