California Governor Receives Moderna Booster

At Oakland Health Clinic, Governor Newsom Receives Moderna Booster, Encourages Eligible Californians to Get their COVID Booster to Keep Immunity Strong

OAKLAND, CA (STL.News) Following the FDA’s Emergency Use Authorization approval for COVID-19 booster doses, Governor Gavin Newsom received a Moderna vaccine booster at an Asian Health Services’ clinic in Oakland’s Chinatown, encouraging eligible Californians to get their booster and keep immunity strong, especially as we enter the winter months.

“It’s imperative that we all keep our immunities strong in preparation for the winter cold, flu and now COVID season, especially for those at increased risk,” said Governor Newsom, who received his initial single-dose Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine in April 2021 when his age group became eligible.  “Getting vaccinated and keeping our immunity strong through boosters is a vital step we can take to protect ourselves, our loved ones and our community — it remains the best way to end this pandemic.  Getting a booster is safe, easy, free, and you don’t even have to stick to your original vaccine.  This is your chance to continue to keep yourself and your community healthy.”

The Governor was joined today by California Health and Human Services Secretary Dr. Mark Ghaly and community and local leaders who have supported vaccine equity efforts in the region. To date, Asian Health Services (AHS) has administered nearly 30,000 COVID-19 vaccination doses and 56,000 COVID tests.  On October 25, AHS initiated their first public booster dose clinic at a park in Oakland’s Little Saigon area.

Last week, the Federal Drug Administration (FDA) approved an Emergency Use Authorization for the Johnson & Johnson and Moderna booster doses, followed by recommendations from both the Center for Disease Control (CDC) and the Western States Scientific Review Workgroup that included “mix and match,” the ability to receive a booster different from a person’s original vaccine series.  The Pfizer-BioNTech booster was approved in September and has since been available for eligible populations seeking to strengthen their immunities to COVID-19 and its variants.

Already, nearly two million Californians have received their booster dose, representing 14.3 percent of the nationwide total recipients as reported by the CDC.  The state’s Vaccinate ALL 58 campaign will continue to focus on driving vaccine efforts in lower-income and non-English speaking communities with cultural competency and in-language services.  Its community based organization network, in partnership with philanthropy, is now standing at over 700 organizations and will support outreach and appointment assistance efforts.

California has one of the highest vaccination rates in the country and the highest of the large states, with nearly 87 percent of the 12-and-over population having received at least one dose.  Over the past few weeks, between 45 and 55 percent of all COVID-19 vaccine doses have been administered as boosters.

Boosters are recommended for all Johnson & Johnson vaccine recipients who are 18-years and older and who were vaccinated two or more months ago.  The CDC and Western States Scientific Safety Review Workgroup have declared the following groups of Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna recipients eligible for a booster dose six months or more after their initial series:

  • 65 years and older
  • Age 18+ who live in long-term care settings
  • Age 18+ who have underlying medical conditions
  • Age 18+ who work or live in high-risk settings
  • Age 18+ who are at increased risk due to social inequity

Booster doses are not required for one to be considered fully vaccinated, but are encouraged for those that are eligible to ensure significant protection from COVID-19 and its variants, especially as we enter the winter months.  Booster doses went through the same thorough scientific review process as the initial vaccine series and have been proven safe.

Asian Health Services was established in 1974 in Oakland’s Chinatown, and has since expanded to a 12-site community health center serving over 28,000 patients in Oakland and its surrounding communities in English and 14 different Asian languages.

“We’re encouraging all eligible community members to come and get their booster shot,” said Mychi Nguyen, M.D., Chief Medical Officer, Asian Health Services.  “This is the best way to continue to protect yourself against COVID.”