On Friday, California Health and Human Services Agency Secretary Dr. Mark Ghaly and Dr. Tomás J. Aragón, Director of the California Department of Public Health (CDPH), issued a joint statement in support of the Western States Scientific Safety Review Workgroup to Governor Gavin Newsom, Nevada Governor Steve Sisolak, Oregon Governor Kate Brown and Washington Governor Jay Inslee calling for increased COVID-19 vaccination efforts.
“In accordance with ongoing guidance from the FDA, ACIP, CDC, the Workgroup calls on our states to strengthen efforts to provide COVID-19 vaccines to those who have not yet been vaccinated, provide booster doses to those not yet boosted, and eliminate disparities in vaccine coverage. The Workgroup also strongly encourages our states to expand their efforts to educate healthcare providers and the public about the benefits of COVID-19 vaccination in children and adults,” according to a statement issued on Friday by the California Department of Public Health.
Additionally, the CDC has strengthened its recommendation that those 12 and over who have a compromised immune system and those 50 and older should receive a second booster dose at least four months after their initial booster dose.
“COVID-19 vaccines are the best way to prevent hospitalization and serious illness, and data has shown that California’s vaccination efforts have saved tens of thousands of lives. The Omicron surge and its infectious subvariants have shown that children are also vulnerable, with their case rates and hospitalizations increasing across California – we support the recommendations of our federal and state partners to authorize and recommend the use of a booster dose for children ages 5 and up. It’s important to get kids vaccinated and boosted as soon as possible.
“Additionally, over the past two months we have seen steady increases in cases, and more recently an increase in hospitalizations in California. While older Americans have the highest coverage of any age group of first booster doses, most older Americans received their last dose (either their primary series or their first booster dose) many months ago, leaving many who are vulnerable without the protection they may need to prevent severe disease, hospitalization, and death. Whether it is your first booster, or your second, if you haven’t had a vaccine dose since the beginning of December 2021 and you are eligible, now is the time to get one,” according to the issued statement.
The State’s SMARTER Plan has maintained the operational readiness to immediately offer this additional boost in protection of eligible Californians. CDPH recommends that everyone over the age of 5 receive their primary series and booster dose.
Vaccines are safe and effective for children, and completion of the primary series and boosters remain the safest way to prevent serious illness including MIS-C, long COVID, hospitalization and death from COVID-19.
To learn more about the vaccines available for all Californians aged 5 and older talk to your child’s health care provider or visit https://www.vaccinateall58.com.
Parents can find a vaccine for their child by calling 1-833-422-4255 or by visiting https://myturn.ca.gov.