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COVID-19 vaccine boosters now available to more residents 

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Boosters are especially important for those most at risk of severe illness from COVID-19, says public health

– The County of San Luis Obispo Public Health Department will begin to offer booster doses of the Johnson & Johnson (J&J) and Moderna vaccines by appointment to eligible community members at Public Health Clinics in Grover Beach, Paso Robles, and San Luis Obispo. Booster doses are also available from local pharmacies and healthcare providers.

Booster doses for J&J and Moderna vaccines have been formally approved by the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA), Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC), and Western States Scientific Safety Review Workgroup.

“The most important dose of vaccine is still the first one, and I encourage everyone who has not yet started or completed their vaccine series to make an appointment today,” said County Health Officer Dr. Penny Borenstein. “We’re also happy to now offer this additional boost of protection, which is especially important for those most at risk of severe outcomes of COVID-19.”

All those who received the J&J vaccine (age 18+) are eligible to get a booster dose two months or more after receiving the initial vaccination. Those who received the Moderna or Pfizer vaccines are eligible for a booster dose at six months or more after their initial series if they are:

• 65 years and older
• Age 18+ who live in long-term care settings
• Age 18+ who have underlying medical conditions
• Age 18+ who work or live in high-risk settings
• Age 18+ who are at an increased risk of social inequities

With this update, the FDA, CDC and Western States workgroup have also authorized “mix-and-match” (heterologous) booster shots, meaning those eligible for a booster dose may receive any type of vaccine. Public Health clinics will continue to schedule appointments by vaccine type, and residents may select their type of vaccine when scheduling an appointment.

Walk-ins will be available as supply allows but may not offer a choice of vaccine type.

“It’s held true throughout this pandemic that the best vaccine is the one available to you and which you feel comfortable getting – and that is true with boosters, too, ” said Dr. Penny Borenstein, County Health Officer. “For those seeking guidance on vaccine type based on your personal health situation, I encourage you to talk with your doctor. Since most hospitalized persons who were fully vaccinated are over 65 years old, this group should prioritize getting a booster dose as soon as
possible.”

Vaccines are available at no cost at pharmacies, doctors’ offices, Public Health Department clinics, and mobile clinics countywide. To get a COVID-19 vaccine at a Public Health clinic in Grover Beach, Paso Robles, or San Luis Obispo, visit myturn.ca.gov or call (833) 422-4255 to choose a location, time, and vaccine type. See hours and pop-up clinics at www.RecoverSLO.org/Vaccine.

To find other vaccine providers, visit myturn.ca.gov or VaccineFinder.org.

For updates on COVID-19 in SLO County, visit ReadySLO.org or call the recorded Public Health Information Line at (805) 788-2903. Phone assistance is available at (805) 781-5500 Monday – Friday, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. For more information on COVID-19 vaccine, visit www.RecoverSLO.org/Vaccine.

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The news staff of the Paso Robles Daily News wrote or edited this story from local contributors and press releases. The news staff can be reached at info@pasoroblesdailynews.com.