California can start offering Pfizer's COVID-19 vaccine booster shots to eligible residents after the extra dose was recommended by a safety review panel.
The Western States Scientific Safety Review Workgroup on Friday announced it is recommending the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine booster shot at least six months after eligible residents received their primary vaccination series.
Friday's recommendation follows the CDC endorsing booster shots for millions of older or otherwise vulnerable Americans.
“Vaccines are how we end this pandemic. With today’s Western States Scientific Safety Review Workgroup recommendation, California is ready to go on day one to begin administering Pfizer-BioNTech boosters to eligible Californians, in addition to our continued work in reaching those who remain unvaccinated to protect communities," Gov. Gavin Newsom said in a statement. "Vaccines save lives, and boosters are a critical next step towards better protecting Californians from COVID-19.”
Here's a breakdown of how the state plans to give out COVID-19 boosters.
The following groups of people who received the Pfizer vaccine should receive a booster dose of the Pfizer vaccine after six months, the workgroup recommended:
- People 65 and older,
- People living in a long-term care facility, and
- People 50-64 with underlying medical conditions.
The workgroup also recommends the following groups of people ages 18-64 who received the Pfizer vaccine may also receive a booster dose of the Pfizer vaccine after six months:
- People with underlying medical conditions, and
- People who are at higher risk of COVID-19 exposure and transmission due to occupational or institutional setting.