While the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health (Public Health) remains focused on administering first doses of vaccine to communities countywide, vaccination sites are preparing to make boosters available to everyone who needs one.

Today, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) met and approved boosters for Moderna and Johnson & Johnson vaccines and noted that consumers are allowed to choose a different brand from their original vaccine as a booster. Once the CDC director provides their final approval, providers across the county will be able to administer additional doses.

The recommendations by the CDC and FDA allows for Booster doses of all three FDA-approved vaccines – Pfizer, Moderna, and Johnson & Johnson.  Eligibility varies depending on which vaccine you initially received: anyone who received Johnson & Johnson more than two months ago is eligible for a booster shot. Meanwhile, booster eligibility for those who received Pfizer or Moderna is currently limited to people who received their primary series at least 6 months ago and who are either 65 and older or are over 18 and live in long-term care settings, have underlying medical conditions, or work or live in high-risk settings.  People may receive booster shots of either the vaccine they originally received or a different vaccine. 

Public Health estimates that 1.7 million residents in L.A. County received their second dose of Pfizer at least 6 months ago, 1.5 million received their two Moderna doses at least 6 months ago, and 470,000 residents received their Johnson & Johnson vaccine at least two months ago.  Many of these individuals will be eligible for boosters once there is final CDC director approval. 

The FDA and CDC are also expected to approve and recommend Pfizer vaccines for children aged 5 to 11 in early November. In L.A. County, this will make 900,000 children newly eligible for vaccination with pediatric doses of Pfizer vaccine. Pediatric doses of Pfizer vaccine are smaller than the adult and teen vaccine doses, 10 versus 30 micrograms, but the dosing schedule is the same: for children, teens and adults, two doses are given 21 days apart.

Currently, the County expects to get nearly 96,000 doses as part of our first wave of vaccine supply the first week in November, with many more doses arriving in two additional waves following very quickly thereafter. Doses are being allocated to the County and to the rest of the country on a pro-rata basis; based on your population. We do not anticipate scarcity, and expect there will be ample vaccine to meet demand.

An enormous network of providers countywide, is scaling up to provide vaccines to children between the ages of 5 and 11.

Submitted by: L.A. County Department of Public Health