LOS ANGELES (CNS) – With booster doses of COVID-19 vaccines now available, Los Angeles County health officials said on Wednesday they were working closely with qualified nursing facilities to ensure that residents have access to additional injections.
According to the county public health department, qualified nursing facilities will be asked weekly about their strategies for making boosters available to residents. Department officials said they would work to overcome “any barriers to requesting, receiving and administering reminders,” and will deploy mobile vaccination clinics to all facilities in need of assistance.
“We continue to work with trained nursing facilities across the county to ensure these vulnerable residents have good access to booster doses as soon as possible,” County Public Health Director Barbara Ferrer said in a statement. âWe urge others eligible for booster doses, especially those at higher risk of serious illness if infected, to take advantage of the enhanced protection provided by the booster, especially before holiday gatherings that create more opportunities for the spread of COVID-19. “
According to the county, 95% of staff in skilled nursing facilities are fully immunized, as are 88% of residents. All staff should be vaccinated, but those with approved exemptions should be tested up to twice a week.
Under federal guidelines, COVID-19 vaccine boosters are available for people: – 65 years of age or older; – aged 18 and over and living in long-term care facilities; – aged 18 and over with underlying medical conditions; and – aged 18 and over and living or working in high risk environments.
Under federal guidelines, people can be given a different recall mark than their original doses. People who have received Pfizer or Moderna injections in two doses should not receive a booster until at least six months after their last dose. For the single injection Johnson & Johnson vaccine, people should wait at least two months after their injection.
According to figures released last week, 79% of eligible county residents aged 12 and older have received at least one dose of the vaccine and 71% are fully immunized.
The county reported 11 new deaths from COVID-19 on Wednesday, bringing the total death toll to 26,578. Another 909 cases were also reported, bringing the cumulative total for the entire pandemic to 1,487,502.
The mobile average daily rate of people testing positive for the virus was 1.2% on Wednesday.
According to state figures, there were 649 COVID-positive patients in county hospitals on Wednesday, down slightly from Tuesday’s 650. Of those patients, 183 were in intensive care, up from 179 a day earlier.