A teenage girl receives a COVID-19 vaccine.

Bivalent boosters available and encouraged

The San Diego County Health and Human Services Agency encourages San Diegans to keep up to date on their COVID-19 vaccine doses ahead of the upcoming winter months.

“COVID-19 vaccines and boosters are our best protection against the virus and I encourage anyone who is eligible for a booster to get one,” said Wilma J. Wooten, MD, MPH, county public health officer. “While COVID-19 numbers are currently trending lower, the virus remains active and infectious in our community and we expect more cases in the coming months as people move their activities indoors.”

So far, nearly 1.45 million San Diegan residents have received regular boosters since they became available. The county has administered more than 400 dual-use boosters since limited supplies began arriving earlier this month, while the total from all vendors topped 34,000.

The new bivalent boosters were developed to generate an immune response from the original COVID-19 virus, as well as the BA.4 and BA.5 Omicron subvariants. Omicron variants still cause the majority of new COVID-19 infections in the region.

The Pfizer/BioNTech bivalent booster is available for ages 12 and older. Moderna bivalent boosters are licensed for those ages 18 and older, but are currently not readily available in the area as the county awaits additional state vaccine allocations.

Bivalent boosters have not yet been authorized for children under 12 years of age. Young people in this age group can be boosted with the previous version of the Pfizer monovalent vaccine.

San Diegans must be fully vaccinated with the primary series of one of the approved COVID-19 vaccines before receiving a bivalent booster, which means they must have received the two-dose primary series from Pfizer, Moderna, or the relatively new Novavax. All of these vaccines remain widely available. Also eligible for the bivalent booster are those who have received at least one injection of the Janssen vaccine, which is no longer widely available.

Anyone who wants to receive a bivalent booster should wait at least eight weeks after receiving a previous COVID-19 vaccine until they are eligible. Additionally, anyone who has been fully vaccinated and recently tested positive for COVID-19 should wait three months after infection to receive a bivalent booster.

Changes to data reports

As COVID-19 activity continues to decline in the region and to align with state reporting frequency, the county will transition to reporting COVID-19 data once a week.

Starting next week, local COVID-19 data will be updated on the coronavirus-sd.com page only on Thursdays, instead of twice a week on Mondays and Thursdays. The county’s regular COVID-19 news release will continue to be distributed once a week on Thursdays.

Vaccination progress:

  • Received at least one vaccine: More than 3.02 million or 90.4% of San Diegan residents six months and older are at least partially vaccinated.
  • Fully Immunized: Over 2.67 million or 80.0%.
  • Boosters administered: 1,447,477 or 59% of 2,455,439 eligible San Diegans.
  • More information on vaccination can be found at coronavirus-sd.com/vaccine.

Deaths:

  • Nine additional deaths have been reported since the last report on September 8, 2022. The region’s total is 5,483.
  • Of the nine additional deaths, five were female and four were male. They died between August 25, 2022 and September 10, 2022; five deaths have occurred in the past two weeks.
  • Five of those who died were 80 or older, three were 70 and one was 60.
  • Five were fully vaccinated and four were not.
  • All had underlying medical conditions.

Cases, case rates and tests:

  • 1,251 cases of COVID-19 have been reported to the county in the past three days (September 12 to September 14, 2022). The region total is now 918,279.
  • 2,840 cases were reported last week (September 8-14) compared to 2,797 infections identified the previous week (September 1-7).
  • San Diego County’s case rate per 100,000 population ages 12 and older is 17.59 for fully vaccinated and boosted people, 10.51 for fully vaccinated people, and 35.77 for San Diegans not fully vaccinated.
  • 7,176 tests were reported to the county on September 10 and the percentage of new positive cases was 4.6% (data through September 10).
  • The rolling 14-day percentage of positive cases, among tests reported through September 10, is 5.7%.

More information:

Data updates on the County coronavirus-sd.com website will be published on Mondays and Thursdays around 5 p.m., excluding public holidays.

#Bivalent #boosters #encouraged

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