The Biden administration is expected to announce this week that Americans who received a COVID-19 vaccine will likely need booster shots to enhance immunity against the delta variant.
According to national reports, the White House has been corresponding with health experts who say a booster shot could be necessary after eight months of full vaccination. This input from medical and health experts could lead to an announcement promoting booster shots before the end of the week.
The booster shots, however, would not be administered until mid-or-late September after an application from Pfizer for additional shots is approved by the Food and Drug Administration, according to reports.
The pending announcement comes just days after both the FDA and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommended that certain immunocompromised individuals receive a third dose of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine for added protection against circulating variants.
The impact of the delta variant spread has been witnessed in Santa Barbara County in recent weeks, where officials have reported an uptick in cases associated with the dominant variant.
On Tuesday, the county’s Public Health Department reported 112 new cases of COVID-19 and no new deaths.
Officials reported 45 new cases in Santa Maria, 13 new cases in Orcutt, 10 new cases in Santa Barbara and the unincorporated area of Mission Canyon and nine new cases in Lompoc and the communities of Mission Hills and Vandenberg Village. In recent weeks, these four regions have had the greatest uptick in cases compared to other areas of the county.
Eight new cases were reported in the unincorporated Goleta Valley and Gaviota on Tuesday, six cases were reported in the north county unincorporated areas and five cases were reported in both Goleta and the South Coast unincorporated areas of Summerland, Montecito and the City of Carpinteria. Elsewhere, four cases were reported in the Santa Ynez Valley and one case was reported in Isla Vista. Six cases were pending on Tuesday.
The new cases brought the county’s active case count to 823 infections.
As of the latest vaccination data, 63.3% of the county’s eligible 12 and older population was fully vaccinated, and 72.3% of the same population was partially vaccinated. Of the entire county population, 53.6% were fully vaccinated as of the latest data from the Public Health Department.
As of Tuesday, 65 people were hospitalized for COVID-19, and 15 of those patients were recovering in the ICU.