SEPTEMBER 30, 2021 UPDATE: PFIZER BOOSTER SHOTS APPROVED FOR SPECIFIC GROUPS; DEFINITION OF FULLY VACCINATED REMAINS UNCHANGED
Last week, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) officially announced their approval of booster doses of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine for certain people. To be eligible for a booster dose, you must have received your second dose of the two-dose Pfizer vaccine series at least 6 months ago and fall into any of the following groups:
- 65 years or older
- Resident of long-term care facilities
- 18 to 64 years with underlying medical conditions
- 18 to 64 years with high institutional or occupational risk, including healthcare workers, first responders, teachers and day care staff, grocery workers, and workers in homeless shelters or prisons
Please note that boosters are currently only available to residents who received Pfizer. Those who received Moderna or Johnson & Johnson will need to wait until the FDA reviews the data and need for boosters for these vaccines.
To make an appointment for a booster shot, you can go to https://myturn.ca.gov/, or make an appointment at any pharmacy or clinic that offers Pfizer vaccines. Residents who received their COVID-19 vaccination within the State of California may request a digital copy of their COVID-19 vaccine record by visiting https://myvaccinerecord.cdph.ca.gov/.
As you are probably aware, vaccine verification requirements are becoming more common, and in LA County, people will need to show proof of being fully vaccinated to enter the indoor portions of bars, nightclubs, lounges, breweries, and wineries. Despite the approval of booster doses, the CDC has not changed the definition of “fully vaccinated” to include a booster dose. Everyone is still considered fully vaccinated two weeks after their second dose in a 2-shot series, such as the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines, or two weeks after a single-dose vaccine, such as the Johnson & Johnson vaccine.
You can read more FAQs about the booster dose from the CDC here: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/vaccines/booster-shot.html
September 16, 2021 Update: LA County announces Vaccine Verification requirements in high-risk settings
In what the LA County Department of Public Health called an urgent need to reduce transmission risk and increase vaccination coverage in LA County, they announced yesterday that they will revise the Health Officer Order to begin requiring verification of COVID-19 vaccines in high-risk settings. There are two ways this will be accomplished:
At outdoor mega events, vaccination verification or a negative test within 72 hours of the event will be required (this is already a requirement for indoor mega events).
For indoor customers and employees at indoor portions of bars, wineries, breweries, night clubs, and lounges, vaccine verification will be required. While not required, vaccine verification at indoor portions of restaurants will be recommended.
The modified Health Officer Order will require employees and patrons to have at least one dose of the vaccine by October 7, and both doses by November 4.
To read the full press release from LA County, you can click here. To read the most recent Health Officer Order when it is released, as well as best practices and other guidance, you can go to their website here.
As a reminder, the City announced last week that we are implementing our own vaccine mandate for City employees. You can read that full announcement, and all previous COVID-19 updates, below.
September 9, 2021 update: City announces vaccine mandate for city employees
The City of San Marino takes seriously its primary function – protecting the health and safety of the San Marino community, while also meeting its obligation to provide a safe and healthy workforce. Because of this, the City will be requiring that all City employees be fully vaccinated against COVID-19. In consultation with City Council, the City has made the determination that regular testing will not be a viable alternative for those who are not vaccinated, and therefore, in the absence of a reasonable medical or religious accommodation, employees who do not get vaccinated will not be able to continue their tenure with the City.
The process of vaccine verification has already begun for unrepresented employees who are not part of a bargaining unit, and labor negotiations are underway with the City’s three bargaining units. Because this is a confidential personnel matter, no other updates are available at this time. If more information becomes available, we will keep the community informed.
The City did not come to this decision lightly, but ultimately believes that this is the best path forward to ensure the safety and wellbeing of both our residents and our employees. We know that the COVID-19 vaccines are safe, reduce the likelihood of getting and spreading COVID-19, and dramatically reduce the likelihood of severe illness or death. Because of this, we feel confident that this decision will allow the City to do our part to help end the COVID-19 pandemic and the unnecessary suffering it continues to cause.