When can I get my coronavirus booster vaccination? You need to know that – East Bay Times

The delta variant of the coronavirus is making its way through Southern California, leading to a surge in cases and hospital admissions – as well as new questions from residents.

Health authorities across the region are reporting increased numbers of cases and facing renewed public health requirements, such as: B. masking in public. It has sparked discussions of vaccine needs in local businesses and already established them for many public sector workers, including Los Angeles County employees.

And as the months go by and immunity wears off, the community’s vaccinated question arises: How much and when – and when can I get my booster vaccination? Here’s a quick question and answer about what experts told us about boosters:

Q: It has been months since I was fully vaccinated. Should I get the booster – and when?

ON: Not yet, say experts. But you will likely need one at some point because evidence shows that immunity wears off over time.

The Pfizer BioNTech vaccine was found to be 91.3% effective against COVID-19, measured seven days to six months after the second dose. At this point, experts believe that immunity will decrease.

The latest data from Pfizer in July shows that a third dose against the Delta variant is also successful. Last month Pfizer released data from its long-term study of 44,000 people showing that protection from symptomatic infections decreased slightly six months after vaccination, but protection from severe COVID-19 remained at nearly 97%.

Moderna has also found that a booster dose provides a robust antibody response to the disease. The vaccine has been shown to provide at least 93% immunity for up to six months.

Still, companies and federal agencies are investigating how a full dose will protect you. And that’s why the local health departments are waiting for these agencies to sign off boosters.

“We will be reaching out to the Food and Drug Administration and its scientific panels and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and its scientific panels to make decisions about how best to use the three available vaccines,” said Los Angeles County Die Public Health Director Barbara Ferrer adds that her department intends to align with such guidelines when it matters.

The reason, Ferrer said, is because both federal agencies benefit early and ostensibly from teams looking at clinical trial and manufacturing company data, as well as real-world data from all of the country’s local health agencies, to assess the effectiveness of the vaccines and the need for boosters.

The FDA reportedly expects a COVID-19 vaccine boosters strategy by early September. Based on laboratory data on vaccine efficacy, clinical trial data and cohort data, it should be determined when and which vaccinated individuals should receive follow-up examinations, which may include data from certain pharmaceutical companies.

“This is being scrutinized and the guidelines may change over time as new variants emerge for which the vaccines may not be as effective – or if we see a significant drop in immunity over time,” said Dr. Robert Kim-Farley, who studies Communicable Disease Eradication at UCLA’s Fielding School of Public Health.

Q: But my immune system is weakened. Can I get a booster now?

ON: That is why the Biden administration wants a booster strategy in the fast lane. The urgency seems to be that some populations – people over 65 and people with immunodeficiency and those who were vaccinated in December or January – need a booster as soon as possible.

“I also know many of you are wondering if you need a booster dose to add another layer of protection,” Biden said on July 29th. “From now on, my medical advisors will say no. No American needs a booster now. But if science tells us boosters are needed, then we will. And we bought the supplies – all the supplies we need to be ready when we need to. “

Be sure the CDC and FDA are issuing guidelines in the coming weeks as to when and who should receive a booster dose based on the review of clinical data. “We’ll just have to wait for them to complete this full assessment,” said Ferrer.

However, people with weakened immune systems should “be examined individually with their doctor,” said Kim-Farley.

Q: What about the people in San Francisco who get another chance?

ON: According to media reports, people vaccinated with the one-off Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine can receive an additional dose of mRNA vaccine in San Francisco, the city health department said this week.

Officials from the San Francisco Department of Public Health said they would provide “shelter” for those who have consulted a doctor. They stressed that it was not a recommendation or a policy change.

And even then, the city’s health department agrees with the CDC, which – right now – does not recommend booster vaccinations for anyone, including J&J vaccine recipients.

Q: But other countries are already doing boosters, right?

ON: Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett announced on July 29 that the country would offer a coronavirus booster to people over 60 who are already vaccinated. This made the nation the first country to offer its citizens a third dose of a Western vaccine on a large scale.

But many researchers have pushed this strategy back, warning that it will further slow a global recovery as widespread boosters would take valuable doses from parts of the world that have little immunity before the rest of the world.

The danger, they warn, is that variants can emerge in these unvaccinated parts of the world that eventually come back and hit other countries – a kind of vicious cycle that some experts fear will keep the virus alive.

Antonia Huerta receives COVID-19 vaccination from EMT Brandon Jaramillo in a Medi-Vaxx program at the San Fernando Valley pop-up clinic at Montague Charter Academy in Arleta, Monday August 2, 2021. The Fernandeno Tataviam Band of Mission Indians, as part of his participation in the San Fernando Valley’s Medi-Vaxx program, held the clinic that administered the first doses of the vaccine. Monday, August 2, 2021. (Photo by Hans Gutknecht, Los Angeles Daily News / SCNG)

And that shows how equity is related to public health needs. Coast-to-coast leaders have pointed to social inequalities highlighted by this virus, from lack of testing in marginalized communities to cramped housing, which make families more susceptible to contracting COVID-19.

“It would be better for all of us if people in developing countries could have access to vaccines to stop variants like a delta in India compared to people in more developed countries who are getting booster doses at this point. Said Kim-Farley of UCLA.

Ferrer, whose health department operates in the most populous county in the United States, seemed empathetic that booster efforts be better coordinated, with the world outside of LA County in mind.

“We have seen firsthand how what is happening in different countries is affecting what is happening here in the United States,” she said Emergency Hazardous Variants. “

Q: I already had the disease. So I’m immune now, right?

ON: Not exactly. Even if you have become infected, experts urge you to get vaccinated. Here’s why:

It’s no news that public health experts have been asking people who have had the virus to get vaccinated for months. But, according to a new Gallup poll, one of the top reasons Americans don’t plan to get vaccinated is because they think they’re protected after they already have the virus – that was nearly 20% of Americans.

And yes … they might be right at least for now.

Natural immunity is said to be a powerful force in the fight against many diseases, from measles to chickenpox to COVID-19. In fact, epidemiologists believe that there is more collective immunity built in than we officially know because of cases that have not been reported.

Coming back to the Israeli situation, there are reports there that coronavirus patients who have recovered from the virus are less likely to become infected than people who have been vaccinated against COVID during the latest wave of the pandemic. But no one definitely knows how long such natural immunity could last, or if it’s as strong as the vaccines.

There’s also the advent of the Delta variant, which is known to be far more contagious than its precursor, sparking an even angrier campaign to get people vaccinated.

A new study shows that survivors who ignored this advice were more than twice as likely to be re-infected. The study looked at hundreds of Kentucky residents previously infected through June 2021.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report on Friday adds to the growing laboratory evidence that people who have had a bout of COVID-19 receive a dramatic boost in virus-fighting immune cells – and broader protection against new mutants – when they do there are vaccinated.

“If you have ever had COVID-19, please get vaccinated anyway,” said CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky in a statement on Friday. “The vaccine is the best way to protect yourself and others around you, especially as the more contagious Delta variant is spreading across the country.”

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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