County encourages residents to get new COVID-19 vaccine

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Bay Area health officials weigh-in on vaccine varieties
Photo courtesy of the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention.

The new COVID-19 vaccine is expected to become available by next week and everyone 6 months or older should get it through their health provider as soon as possible, according to Contra Costa Health (CCH).

You can receive the dose regardless of past vaccination status, unless you’ve already received one within the past two months, health officials say. 

“This COVID-19 vaccine is updated to be effective against variants of the virus that our residents are most likely to encounter this winter, the same way that flu vaccine is updated annually,” said Dr. Ori Tzvieli, Contra Costa County health officer. “The older COVID vaccines do not protect against current strains. We really recommend the new vaccine for everyone, but particularly for those who are older or medically vulnerable.”

Contra Costa County will not host dedicated vaccination clinics and CCH will provide vaccine primarily to Contra Costa Health Plan members, Medi-Cal and Medicare recipients that it serves, and people who do not have health insurance.

In Contra Costa County, the 7-day average number of new, COVID-related hospital admissions has grown from 5.9 on June 14 to 12.1 on Sept. 9, although services at those hospitals are not currently impacted, according to CCH. 

Local health departments today enacted health orders requiring workers at certain medical facilities to wear well-fitting face masks while on the job, from Nov. 1 to April 30, annually.

In Contra Costa, the order applies to workers at acute-care hospitals, skilled nursing facilities and nursing homes, and high-risk outpatient settings such as dialysis and infusion centers. The order does not apply to patients or visitors.