Joint Statement on Western States Recommendation of Expanded Pfizer – BioNTech Booster Eligibility for 12- to 15-Year Olds
SACRAMENTO - Today, California Health and Human Services Agency Secretary Dr. Mark Ghaly, and Director of the California Department of Public Health and State Public Health Officer Dr. Tomás J. Aragón, issued a joint statement on the Western States Scientific Safety Review Workgroup’s recommendation to expand eligibility for Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 booster dose to 12- to 15-year-olds at least five months after completing their primary vaccination series. “Getting a booster shot is the best way to keep your immunity strong and protect you and your loved ones from being hospitalized or dying because of COVID-19, including from the fast-spreading Omicron variant. With today’s recommendation expanding booster eligibility to those 12 and older, as well as decreasing the time between primary series and booster dose to five months for Pfizer vaccine recipients, Californians should go out and get themselves and their children boosted. The state has ample vaccine supply, so don’t wait – get your booster today.” While vaccines and boosters remain the most important step Californians can take to protect themselves against COVID-19, now is not the time to let our guard down. All Californians, regardless of vaccination status, should continue to practice the safety basics – wear a mask with good fit and filtration indoors, get tested if you’re exposed to the virus or have symptoms, improve ventilation indoors, and stay home when sick. MyTurn.ca.gov is currently being updated to reflect the expanded eligibility. Parents and guardians are encouraged to check with their youth’s health care provider to schedule their booster appointment. For the latest information on the Omicron variant, go to CDPH.ca.gov and to find a COVID-19 testing site, call (833) 422-4255 or visit your local county public health website.