FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
December 9, 2022
Boosters approved amidst seasonal “tripledemic” of COVID, flu, and RSV
SANTA CLARA COUNTY, Calif. – The County of Santa Clara will begin accepting bivalent COVID-19 booster appointments next week for children down to 6 months of age at its mass vaccination locations and local clinics. The exact date will be determined once the vaccines arrive.
According to the FDA, eligibility for the pediatric bivalent booster is as follows:
- Children 6 months through 5 years of age who received the original (monovalent) Moderna COVID-19 Vaccine are now eligible to receive a single booster of the updated (bivalent) Moderna COVID-19 vaccine two months after completing a primary series with the monovalent Moderna COVID-19 Vaccine.
- Children 6 months through 4 years of age who have not yet begun their three-dose primary series of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine or have not yet received the third dose of their primary series will now receive the updated (bivalent) Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine as the third dose in their primary series following two doses of the original (monovalent) Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine.
- Children 6 months through 4 years of age who have already completed their three-dose primary series with the original (monovalent) Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine will not be eligible for a booster dose of an updated bivalent vaccine at this time. Children in this age group who already completed their primary series would still be expected to have protection against the most serious outcomes from the currently circulating omicron variant.
- Mixing and matching of the two vaccines is not authorized at this time.
The public is reminded to first contact their local healthcare provider or pharmacy for an appointment. Those without a primary healthcare provider or who are having difficulty finding an appointment can go through www.sccfreevax.org.
Public Health officials encourage parents and caregivers to take advantage of this latest bivalent COVID-19 booster for their young children. Currently, 18.2% of eligible County residents under 5 have completed their primary series.
“We are seeing a confluence of RSV, flu, and COVID infections among children, which is very concerning,” said Dr. Sara Cody, Health Officer and Director of Public Health for the County of Santa Clara. “We recommend that children get vaccinated for both COVID and flu, and that their families do the same. This will help keep people safe and healthy over the winter holiday season.”
The bivalent vaccines should provide a greater level of protection against COVID-19 by targeting the original strain of the novel coronavirus as well as the currently dominant Omicron variants. According to the CDC, people who remain current on their most recent COVID booster dramatically reduce their risk of severe disease and hospitalization.
“We expect to have plenty of capacity when we open up pediatric vaccination appointments next week,” said Dr. Jennifer Tong, Associate Chief Medical Officer for Santa Clara Valley Medical Center. “Vaccination will not only keep your family safe, but it will reduce the strain on our local hospitals and healthcare providers, so we ask all County residents to do everything they can to keep our community safe.”
All California residents who work for companies with at least 26 people are eligible for paid sick leave to receive a vaccination for themselves or a family member. This state program is available through the end of 2022.
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ABOUT THE COUNTY OF SANTA CLARA, CALIFORNIA
The County of Santa Clara government serves a diverse, multi-cultural population of 1.9 million residents in Santa Clara County, Calif., making it more populous than 14 states in the U.S. The County provides essential services to its residents, including public health protection, environmental stewardship, medical services through the County of Santa Clara Health System, child and adult protection services, homelessness prevention and solutions, roads, park services, libraries, emergency response to disasters, protection of minority communities and those under threat, access to a fair criminal justice system, and many other public benefits.