By Kathy Chouteau
Starting today, Contra Costa Health (CCH) is making the new Omicron booster shots available at its COVID vaccination sites, including the Richmond Auditorium.
Those who are vaccinated and ages 12-plus are eligible for Pfizer’s new Omicron booster, while adults ages 18-plus are able to receive Moderna’s Omicron booster, said CCH. “These recently authorized “bivalent” booster shots are designed to protect against both the original coronavirus strain and the newer Omicron variants now dominant in the United States,” CCH added.
Community members’ eligibility also hinges on them having received their primary vaccination series or their last booster shot a minimum of two months prior to getting the new Omicron booster.
CCH recommends that anyone who recently had a breakthrough COVID-19 infection consider waiting three months after testing positive before getting an Omicron booster. This is due to reinfection being less likely over the immediate weeks-to-months following infection and studies suggesting that a pause between infection and vaccination could lead to improved immune response to vaccination.
To date, CCH said that almost 84 percent of Contra Costa residents have received their primary series of COVID vaccinations and 54.4 percent have gotten boosters or additional doses of the monovalent vaccines.
“While the original Pfizer and Moderna COVID vaccines still provide strong protection against hospitalization and death, their effectiveness wanes over time,” emphasized CCH.
Community members can schedule a booster appointment online at covidvaccine.cchealth.org or by calling CCH at 833-829-2626. Walk-ins are accepted as available. Other options for getting the Omicron boosters include visiting a healthcare provider or a local pharmacy.
Locally, the Richmond Auditorium is a county vaccination site and is located at 403 Civic Center Plaza in Richmond. Hours are Tuesday through Saturday from 8 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. to 3 p.m. The site is closed today (Fri., Sept. 9).