County reports 64 cases of COVID-19, two additional deaths
A Food and Drug Administration advisory panel on Thursday unanimously recommended giving Moderna’s COVID-19 booster to people 65 and older and other vulnerable Americans.
The recommendation, which came from the FDA’s Vaccine and Related Biological Products Advisory Committee, says that elderly citizens and younger adults with health problems or occupations that put them at increased risk for getting COVID-19 should receive a half-dose booster shot of the Moderna vaccine at least six months after finishing the two-dose series.
The recommendation is non-binding but could help pave the way for a portion of the 69 million Americans who received the Moderna series to get a booster.
The FDA is set to consider this recommendation from the panel later this week. The agency will also be discussing a booster shot of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine.
The advisory panel will discuss the J&J booster during a meeting today.
The recommendation comes as the nation is seeing an overall decline in COVID-19 cases, though rates are still averaging 90,000 new infections and 1,800 deaths per day.
After the delta variant caused a surge in cases at the tail end of the summer, data from the Santa Barbara County Public Health Department show that cases are trending downward locally.
On Thursday, the department reported 64 new cases of COVID-19 and two additional deaths of residents who lived in Santa Maria. The individuals who died were over the age of 70 and had underlying health conditions, according to the Public Health Department.
Across the county, officials reported 26 new cases in Santa Maria, 10 new cases in Santa Barbara, five new cases in Lompoc and four new cases in unincorporated Goleta Valley and Gaviota, and the North County unincorporated areas. Three new cases were reported in Goleta, Orcutt and the South Coast area including Carpinteria, and one new case was reported in both Isla Vista and the Santa Ynez Valley. Four cases were pending.
On Thursday, the department reported that 37 people were hospitalized for COVID-19, and 15 of those patients were recovering in the ICU.
According to the latest vaccination data, 77.7% of eligible 12-and-older residents are at least partially vaccinated, and 69.7% are fully vaccinated. Of the entire county population, 59% of people are fully vaccinated.