San Mateo County begins offering vaccine boosters for eligible individuals | October 8, 2021 | Almanac | Almanac Online |

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News - October 8, 2021

San Mateo County begins offering vaccine boosters for eligible individuals

by By Julia Brown

San Mateo County health officials will hold Pfizer booster clinics for eligible individuals at the San Mateo County Event Center beginning Oct. 7, the health department announced Sept. 30. Boosters are also available now through pharmacies, primary health care providers and at the county's community clinics (a list of clinics is available at smchealth.org/vaccine-clinic-calendar.)

In a press release, the health department stated that it would hold booster clinics on the following dates at the event center (1346 Saratoga Drive in San Mateo):

•Thursday, Oct. 7, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

•Friday, Oct. 8, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

•Tuesday, Oct. 12, from noon to 7 p.m.

•Wednesday, Oct. 13, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Additional clinics may be scheduled according to demand, health officials said. Boosters are only available to individuals 18 and older who have received two doses of the Pfizer vaccine. Appointments are encouraged but not required, and may be scheduled through myturn.ca.gov.

These will be drive-thru clinics, similar to previous vaccination clinics at the center, the county said. Participants should wear masks and should not bring pets in the car. Those getting the booster should bring their previous vaccination documentation; those without can self-attest to having received a second dose of the Pfizer vaccine at least six months ago and meeting the other qualifications outlined by the CDC and FDA.

First and second doses of the Pfizer vaccine will also be offered to those who have not yet received them. An estimated 40,000 residents countywide remain unvaccinated, while 94.1% of San Mateo County residents have received at least one vaccine dose, health officials said.

On Sept. 22, the FDA issued its approval of an extra dose of the two-dose Pfizer vaccine for those ages 65 and older and people ages 12 to 64 who are at higher risk of serious illness because of medical conditions or the nature of their job, as outlined by the CDC. Once fully approved by the CDC in addition to the FDA, those eligible for boosters will be advised to get them at least six months after receiving their second dose of the vaccine.

The authorization applies only to the Pfizer vaccine at this time. Moderna and Johnson & Johnson are currently seeking emergency use authorization for booster shots, and boosters may be recommended for additional groups in the future.

As of Sept. 27, the CDC states that the Pfizer vaccine booster is available for the following individuals who completed their two-shot series at least six months ago: those ages 65 and older, and people ages 18 and older who live or work in high-risk settings or have underlying medical conditions.

The CDC recommends an additional dose for people who are moderately to severely immunocompromised at least 28 days after their second dose of either the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines. There isn't sufficient data on whether an immunocompromised person who initially received the Johnson & Johnson vaccine would see an increased antibody response after an additional dose of the same vaccine.

Health officials added that, per CDC guidelines, people ages 18 to 49 with an underlying medical condition — as well as those at risk of COVID-19 exposure because of occupational or institutional setting — are also eligible and may want to consider a booster.

Email Assistant Editor Julia Brown at [email protected]

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